Employers Unite to Protect ERISA Preemption

Washington, DC – The following statement should be attributed to Annette Guarisco Fildes, President and CEO, ERIC:

“The filing of three amici briefs in support of ERIC’s petition to the Ninth Circuit to rehear our case against the City of Seattle’s health care mandate is a clear sign that employers across multiple industries support a strong federal standard governing employer-sponsored health care, over disparate state and local mandates.

If Seattle is allowed to ignore federal preemption and place a mandate on employers regarding health care, then we can expect other states and localities to follow, as the amici supporting the City of Seattle claimed in a prior submission to the Ninth Circuit. Nationwide employers like ERIC member companies are already providing generous health coverage to workers and families across the country, typically paying 80 percent of the cost of that coverage. They cannot continue to do so if states and localities impose varying requirements on them.  Being able to administer their plans uniformly is critical and what federal law requires under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

When employers are struggling to keep their doors open, retain workers on their payroll, and provide health and retirement benefits and paid leave, they cannot also be forced to comply with varying state and local requirements, like those imposed by Seattle, San Francisco, or Oakland. Large employers voluntarily provide high-quality health care benefits because they care about the health of their employees. However, if the court does not rule in favor of protecting ERISA preemption, then hundreds of millions of Americans can thank Seattle when employers stop providing those health benefits.”

For more information on this case, click here.

Click here to read the amicus brief from the American Benefits Council, the Business Group on Health, the Silicon Valley Employers Forum, the HR Policy Association, and the Society for Human Resource Management.

Click here to read the amicus brief from the Restaurant Law Center, the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center, the National Retail Federation, the Washington Hospitality Association, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, and the International Franchise Association.

Click here to read the amicus brief from the U.S. Chamber, the Business Roundtable, and the California Chamber of Commerce.

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All media inquiries to The ERISA Industry Committee should be directed to:

Kelly Broadway, 202.627.1918, kbroadway@eric.org

About The ERISA Industry Committee
ERIC is a national advocacy organization that exclusively represents large employers that provide health, retirement, paid leave, and other benefits to their nationwide workforces. With member companies that are leaders in every sector of the economy, ERIC advocates on the federal, state, and local levels for policies that promote flexibility and uniformity in the administration of their employee benefit plans.