ERIC Disappointed in Ninth Circuit Panel Decision on Seattle Health Care Hotel Mandate

City and state mandates on employers to provide benefits are preempted by the federal ERISA law. As a practical matter, these mandates harm workers, forcing employers to divert resources away from providing quality health coverage, and instead spend money to comply with a mismatched patchwork of state and local rules. We continue to believe that recent US Supreme Court decisions have changed the weight and significance of the Ninth Circuit decision in Golden Gate, and are disappointed that the three-judge panel did not agree. On behalf of our large employer member companies, ERIC is evaluating next steps. Employees value health and retirement benefits provided by their employers, and legislatures at all levels, as well as courts, should be wary of actions that adversely impact employer-sponsored benefit plans. ERISA preemption plays a critical role in making benefits possible for our employees, and state and local rules that conflict with ERISA’s national uniformity must be struck down.