W.G. Clark Constr. Co. v. Pac. Nw. Reg'l Council of Carpenters (Majority)Annotate this Case
At issue in this case was whether ERISA preempted claims made under two Washington state laws designed to ensure that workers on public projects are paid for their work: chapters 39.08 and 60.28 RCW. When the Washington Supreme Court previously addressed this issue in 1994 and 2000, it held that ERISA preempted such claims. As a result of this conflict between Washington's rule and the rule followed by federal courts, the outcome of this type of case in Washington was entirely dependent on whether the lawsuit was filed in federal or state court. This has led to forum shopping, and created inconsistent and unjust results for parties in Washington. In light of the national shift in ERISA preemption jurisprudence and the persuasive reasoning underlying that shift, the Washington Court, through this opinion, joined courts across the country and held that this type of state law was not preempted by ERISA.