Legal Memorandum: Remand of an Action to a State Court

Issue: Under federal labor law, when a claim against an employer does not arise out of the collective bargaining agreement, must the court remand the action to state court?

Area of Law: Employee Law, Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Collective bargaining agreement; Claim against employer
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: 58 F.3d 1238; 814 F.2d 102
Cited Statutes: § 301
Date: 06/01/2007

In the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, when reference to the CBA is not required in order to state contract and fraud claims under state law, preemption is not found and removal is not warranted.  Berda v. CBS Inc., 881 F.2d 20 (3d Cir. 1989) TA s "Berda v. CBS Inc. (3d Cir. 1989)" .  Simply because the misrepresentations alleged by the plaintiff “relate[d] to” certain terms of the parties’ CBA was not determinative of the preemption issue.  This Court has explained:  “[T]hat the misrepresentations concerned layoffs and that there was a provision of the collective bargaining agreement that also related to layoffs are facts of no consequence, because [the plaintiff] need not refer to the provision in the collective bargaining agreement in order to make out his claim.”  Id. at 27 TA s "Berda v. CBS Inc. (3d Cir. 1989)" .

When the federal district court erroneously finds § 301 TA s "Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) § 301, 29 U.S.C. § 185"  preemption and proper removal on that basis, it follows that refusal to remand state law claims is also erroneous, as the courts of appeals have consistently held.  See, e.g., Humphrey v. Sequentia, Inc., 58 F.3d 1238 (8th Cir. 1995) TA l "Humphrey v. Sequentia, Inc., 58 F.3d 1238 (8th Cir. 1995)" s "Humphrey v. Sequentia, Inc. (8th Cir. 1995)" c 1  (because the plaintiff’s action was not completely preempted by § 301, the district court did not have removal jurisdiction and it should have granted […]

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