Do Collective Bargaining Agreements Supersede State Law

Do Collective Bargaining Agreements Supersede State Law

The FLSA offers the ground floor requirements for businesses. Companies must pay their employees at least the federal minimum wage or the state minimum wage if it is higher, and companies must pay the federal work rate for overtime. A CBA may provide for a different rate in limited situations. For example, the CBA may define overtime as work of more than 35 hours per week. When a worker works 36 hours, that worker must receive the additional hourly wage indicated in the cost-benefit group. However, this overtime rate does not necessarily have to be one and a half times the employee`s salary, as this rate only applies to work longer than 40 hours. The rate in the CBA could be lower or higher. The Supreme Court has used the term “independence” to describe the necessary threshold that an applicant must meet to avoid pre-emption action. However, the Court described independence differently at different times. In Allis-Chalmers v. Lueck, the Court presented two distinct grounds for determining independence: either the law of the State provided for non-negotiable State rights (thus justifying independence), or the claim was “inextricably linked” to an interpretation of the very terms of the contract12. to comply with this agreement.

Therefore, an employer should hire a lawyer before participating in the collective bargaining process. The problem with this analysis is that the dichotomy does not always exist. It is possible to adopt a right under the law of the State, which still includes the interpretation of the treaty18 Therefore, the analysis of one or the other will not answer all the questions. In some cases, there may be an unpleasant adjustment between an independent State law and a seemingly complex issue of treaty interpretation. To illustrate this analysis, the courts should recognize that both the source of the right in question and the need to interpret the collective agreement are part of the definition of independence. The absence of independence for one reason cannot lead to the absence of independence of the entire claim. If a claim fulfils both meanings of independence – if it arises from a legal acquis independent of the collective agreement and if it does not intervene in the interpretation of the collective agreement – it is unlikely that the claim will be pre-established. . . .


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