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Seattle Hotel Worker Insurance Mandate Survives Legal Test (1)

May 11, 2020, 12:03 PMUpdated: May 11, 2020, 6:21 PM

A Seattle law requiring large hotels and related businesses to give workers either health insurance coverage or enhanced compensation doesn’t interfere with the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a federal judge held.

Judge Thomas S. Zilly of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington rejected a lawsuit challenging the law as preempted by ERISA. The lawsuit, filed by the ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC), claims the law’s direct payment option—which mandates cash payment to workers who don’t receive specified health coverage—creates an ERISA-governed health plan and therefore interferes with the federal law.

Zilly disagreed in a May...

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