Cases & Deals

Railroad employers successfully challenge application of California's paid leave law

Client(s) National Railroad Passenger Corporation, BNSF Railway Company, Union Pacific Railroad Company, TTX Company, Central California Traction Company

On behalf of a group of railroad employers, Jones Day prevailed in a Ninth Circuit appeal concerning federal preemption. The Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act ("RUIA") preempts all "sickness benefits under a sickness law of any state" and declares all such laws "an undue burden upon, and undue interference with the effective regulation of interstate commerce." A 2014 California law sought to impose an additional state scheme for sick days related to personal and family healthcare on the railroad employers. After arguing that the RUIA and the Dormant Commerce Clause preempted the California law, Jones Day successfully obtained a district court injunction for the railroad employers. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit panel unanimously held that the RUIA preempts all paid-leave benefits mandated under California's law as applied to railroad employers.

Nat'l Railroad Passenger Corp., et al v. Su, No. 15-CV-00924 (E.D. Cal.); No. 21-15816 (9th Cir.)