Milwaukee, WI – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (“Court”) has issued its long-anticipated decision in Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce v. Milwaukee County. Today, the Court held that Milwaukee County’s Labor Peace Ordinance (“LPO”) is preempted by the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) and, therefore, violates the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
The Court’s decision, which reverses an earlier decision of U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Adelman, ends, for the moment, five-years of litigation between the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce and Milwaukee County over the constitutionality of the ordinance.
The LPO required certain County service providers to enter into labor peace agreements at the request of any union seeking to organize their employees. According to Jon Levine, Chair of the Labor and Employment Practice Group at Michael Best & Friedrich, who represented MMAC in the case, “The ordinance deprived County service contractors and their employees of various rights they have and are entitled to exercise under the National Labor Relations Act. The Court made it clear that the ordinance was bad law and bad policy, calling it a pretext to help unions and anything but a reasonable, good faith measure to protect the County and its taxpayers. We’re pleased for MMAC, its members, and all of their employees.”