The Railway Labor Act does not preempt a Washington state law requiring an employer to allow an employee to reschedule accrued vacation time to care for the medical needs of close relatives.  RLA preemption extends only far enough to protect the role of labor arbitration in resolving disputes over collective bargaining agreements and so state law claims are preempted only when they arise entirely from or require construction of the collective bargaining agreement.  Here, the agreement’s only role was in establishing how may days of vacation time had accrued, a matter not in dispute.  The employee’s claim under state law was that she could use that time to care for her sick son despite being scheduled to take her vacation at a different time.  The agreement didn’t speak to that issue.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (en banc) (Berzon, J.; Ikuta, Tallman, Callahan, Bea, & Smith, M., JJ., dissenting); August 1, 2018; 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 21317