Washington, DC – The following statement is in support of the filing in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals by The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) to eliminate the City of Seattle’s health care mandate. The statement should be attributed to Annette Guarisco Fildes, President and CEO, ERIC:
“ERIC remains steadfast in our belief that Seattle Municipal Code 14.28 (SMC 14.28) is a mandate on federally regulated benefit plans, a violation of federal law. The City’s claim that there is a presumption against preemption is weak and relies on outdated court rulings.
SMC 14.28 clearly imposes benefit mandates on employers that already offer health coverage to their employees in compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which preempts state and local mandates on those benefit plans.
A recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Rutledge v. PCMA bolsters ERIC’s case against the City of Seattle and supports our argument that SMC 14.28 falls well under the umbrella of ERISA preemption.
With growing interest in this case from cities and counties all over the country, the Ninth Circuit’s decision will have implications that reach far beyond Seattle. The court must rule to allow employers to continue providing the best benefits to their employees, no matter where they live or work, without states and localities dictating what benefits they think is best.”
For more information on this case, click here.