Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Wrongful discharge based on retaliation for in-house complaints not preempted by ERISA

In King v. Marriott International Inc., the Fourth Circuit in an opinion by Judge Luttig joined by Judges Wilkinson and Shedd concluded that the removal of plaintiff's wrongful discharge claim was improper, where she claimed that she was discharged "for complaining about and for refusing to violate" ERISA, somewhat narrowly construing the scope of the anti-retaliation provisions of the federal statute.

There is some illogic to being able to remove a case, because of the connection between the claims an ERISA plan, but then have it dismissed, because of the lack of a connection between the claims and the ERISA plan, which is more or less what happened in the district court.

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