Labor Law - Preemption - Supreme Court Approves Unemployment Compensation for the Benefit of Striking Employees
Rossiter, Robert F. Jr.
INTRODUCTION|The enactment of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) transferred jurisdiction over labor disputes from the state to the federal level. However, Congress refrained from delineating the complete scope and reach of the NLRA. While the supremacy clause of the United States Constitution generally provides for the preemption of conflicting state law by a federal enactment, there remains the dilemma of defining such conflicts. Only then can it be determined whether the doctrine of preemption will apply. The United States Supreme Court made such a determination in New York Telephone Co. v. New York State Dep't of Labor, where it upheld a New York statute that expressly grants unemployment compensation to striking employees. The Court's decision, holding the doctrine of preemption inapplicable, seems to conflict with fundamental policies of the National Labor Relations Act, as well as basic preemption policies recognized in the labor law arena. The Supreme Court had not previously addressed the precise preemptive issues presented in New York Telephone. Some federal courts, however, touching upon the conflict caused by payments to striking workers, have leaned toward a preemptive...
13 Creighton L. Rev. 1005 (1979-1980)
Creighton University School of Law