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Retail Industry Leaders Association v. Fielder

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
475 F.3d 180 (2007)


In 2006, the Maryland General Assembly enacted the Fair Share Health Care Fund Act (the Act), which required employers with 10,000 or more Maryland employees to spend at least 8 percent of their total payrolls on health insurance costs or pay the difference to the State of Maryland. The Act was intended to force Wal-Mart stores to increase health insurance benefits for its 16,000 Maryland employees. Maryland lawmakers claimed Wal-Mart’s substandard employee health benefits forced its employees to rely heavily on state-run health care programs. Only four employers had at least 10,000 employees in Maryland and only Wal-Mart was subject to the law’s minimum spending requirements. Wal-Mart was a member of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (the Association) (plaintiff) which brought suit against James Fielder, Maryland’s Secretary of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, to declare the Act preempted by the (ERISA) and to stop the Act’s enforcement. The district court ruled for the Association and Fielder appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Niemeyer, J.)

Dissent (Michael, J.)

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