From our private database of 37,200+ case briefs...
Allied Structural Steel Co. v. Spannaus
United States Supreme Court
438 U.S. 234, 98 S.Ct. 2716, 57 L.Ed.2d 727 (1978)
In 1974, the State of Minnesota passed the Private Pension Benefits Protection Act which required private employers to pay a fee if they terminated employee pension plans or moved their offices away from the state, leaving insufficient funds to cover the pensions of employees having worked for the companies for over ten years. That year, Allied Structural Steel Co. (plaintiff), a company with its principle place of business in Illinois, maintained an office in Minnesota with thirty employees. The company’s employee pension qualification policies were stricter than the policies outlined in the new Minnesota law. Essentially, under the company’s policies, an employee who did not die, quit, and was not discharged before meeting one of the requirements of the company’s pension plan would receive a fixed pension at age sixty-five if the company remained in business and elected to continue the pension plan in its existing form. However, under the Minnesota law, more employees would qualify for pensions at earlier time periods. When Allied Structural Steel Co. began closing its offices in Minnesota in the summer of 1974, it discharged eleven of its thirty Minnesota employees. At least nine of these employees did not have vested pension rights under the company’s policy, but did have a right to a pension under the new Minnesota law. Thus, Minnesota notified the company that it owed a pension funding charge of approximately $185,000 under the provisions of the Private Pension Benefits Protection Act. The company brought suit against Spannaus (defendant), the official charged with enforcing the Act, in a federal district court asking for injunctive and declaratory relief. It claimed that the Minnesota Act unconstitutionally impaired its contractual obligations to its employees under its pension agreements. The district court upheld the constitutionality of the Act as it applied to the company, and the company appealed the decision to the United States Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Stewart, J.)
Dissent (Brennan, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 631,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 631,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 37,200 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.