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Virgin America $83 Million California Labor Award Partly Undone

Feb. 23, 2021, 7:28 PM

Virgin America Inc. succeeded in overturning part of a labor judgment totaling $83 million for flight attendants, but the Ninth Circuit upheld the bulk of the workers’ claims alleging California break and other state-law violations.

The Ninth Circuit rejected the argument that the dormant Commerce Clause barred application of California law to the airline, or that the state’s meal-and-rest-break requirements are preempted by federal laws.

The relevant aviation statutes leave room for states to regulate meal-and-rest periods and don’t otherwise conflict with California state-law requirements, it said. And the clause doesn’t invalidate a state regulation unless it’s a substantial burden, ...