RI Hospitality Ass'nl v. City of Providence, No. 11-1415 (1st Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs brought a pre-enforcement declaratory judgment challenge to an ordinance requiring that, when there is a change in the identity of a hospitality employer, that employer must retain its predecessor's employees, subject to some conditions, for a three-month period. The district court rejected the challenge. The First Circuit affirmed, first holding that a pre-enforcement suit is not appropriate for determining preemption under the National Labor Relations Act. Nothing would prevent a successor employer from raising pre-emption in an appeal from the NLRB successorship determination based on the involuntary continuation of employment under the ordinance or in a state court enforcement action. The court rejected an argument that, by providing employees with benefits for which they otherwise would have had to bargain, the ordinance impermissibly enhances employee and union bargaining power and an argument that the law impermissibly interferes with hiring decisions.