Preemption, Preemption, Preemption of Paid Sick Leave Laws

We all know the primary rule when buying a home is location, location, location. Municipalities are learning that when it comes to considering a paid sick leave ordinance, the primary concern is preemption, preemption, preemption. Has its state “preempted,” or negated, its authority to enact a PSL ordinance? If yes, the municipality might want to reconsider whether to step into the paid sick leave arena.  If it enacts an ordinance nonetheless, litigation challenging the ordinance is almost inevitable.

I have posted about numerous PSL do-44167_1280preemption developments. Most recently, a federal judge in Alabama upheld the state’s preemption law, passed in response to the City of Birmingham’s enacting an increase in the minimum wage. The law preempts municipal sick leave laws as well. Missouri and Ohio have enacted preemption laws within the past three months. The Maryland paid sick leave debate includes the issue of whether a state law, if one were to be enacted, will preempt Montgomery County’s paid sick leave ordinance. Preemption bills are pending in Minnesota and Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh’s appeal of a judge’s decision that it did not have authority to enact its paid sick leave law is pending.

Cities oppose preemption laws for obvious reasons. The National League of Cities, an organization which advocates for cities, recently issued a comprehensive report about the preemption law trend, entitled City Rights in an Era of Preemption: A State-by-State Analysis, available here. It addresses numerous types of state preemption laws; the PSL section begins on page 8.

The “Preemption States” tab on the menu bar of my blog, as its name suggests,  lists the states that have enacted preemption laws. The list has grown since I created it just a few months ago.  More states will be added to the list. That is a near certainty.