Employment Law Blog

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Preemptions: State vs. Federal Labor Law

Pursuant to the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, the laws of the United States “shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” (U.S. Const., Art. VI.) Thus, state law that conflicts with federal law is “without effect” and preempted. Cipollone v. Liggett Group, Inc. (1992) 505 U.S. 504, 516. Federal law can preempt state law either by express provision, by implication, or by a conflict between federal and state law. New York State Conference of Blue Cross & Blue Shield Plans v. Travelers Insurance Company (1995) 514 U.S. 645, 654 (“Travelers”). However, where the possibility of preemption arises from an express statutory provision, there is no need to consider any possible implied preemptive effect, since, “Congress’ enactment of a provision defining the preemptive reach of a statute implies that matters beyond that reach are not preempted.” Cipollone, supra, 505 U.S. at 517.

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