NLRA section 301 completely preempts state law claims that implicate a collective-bargaining agreement, except for claims that (1) arise independently of a CBA, and (2) don’t substantially depend on analysis of a CBA. Here, the two-judge majority holds that a claim for $10/hour minimum wages under San Jose’s ordinance is not preempted. The claim arises independently of the CBA between the plaintiff’s union and his employee, is based solely on the ordinance. The claim refers to the CBA but doesn’t require any substantial analysis of the CBA’s terms. The claim is that the ordinance forbids waiver of the $10/hour minimum wage except where required by federal statute—and that the CBA which traded minimum wage for other benefits is not a “requirement” of federal law. The crucial question in the case is a matter of interpreting the ordinance–does it permit waiver in a CBA rather than the interpretation of the CBA’s language which clearly attempts to waive the minimum wage requirement. Since the claim is not completely preempted by the NLRA, federal courts lack subject matter jurisdiction of the suit which must be remanded to state court.
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Diaz, J.; Schroeder, J., dissenting); August 31, 2018; 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 24854