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Supreme Court disagrees on whether whistleblower claims are preempted by the NLRA

Several members of Laborer's Local 1191 sued two officers of the Local after they were terminated from employment.  The plaintiffs argued that they were terminated because they reported illegal conduct by the union officers to the federal and state governments.  They argued that the union officers had violated wage and hour, safety and other working condition regulations, and also violated criminal law.

The case ultimately made its way to the Michigan Supreme Court where the majority of the Justices held that while complaints about working conditions and wages were preempted by the NLRA and may only be pursued in Federal Court, complaints alleging criminal misconduct are not preempted and may be pursued in State Court.  Justice Zahra would have subjected all related claims to NLRA preemption, if they whistleblower's complaints would operate to the union's benefit and were thus "self-serving." 


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