Plaintiff sued his employer, a bank, in Washington Superior Court for terminating his employment based on his age.? The bank removed the case to federal court on diversity jurisdiction grounds and filed summary judgment claiming that the employee?s discrimination claim under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) was preempted by the National Bank Act (NBA), 12 U.S.C. ?? 21-216d, which grants national banks the?? power?? to?? dismiss?? officers?? ?at?? pleasure.? Plaintiff, who did not make a dollar amount demand, challenged removal on the ground that the bank did not establish his claim was worth at least $75,000. ?The Court of Appeals affirmed removal holding that in determining the amount in controversy the trial judge properly considered the plaintiff?s discovery responses listing the types of damages alleged ?and emotional distress damage awards in similar age discrimination cases in Washington? as well as the potential award of attorney?s fees.? But the Court reversed and remanded on the issue of preemption. ?The NBA has been found to preempt various state torts. However, the Court held that ?the congressional enactment of the ADEA [Age Discrimination in Employment Act] has placed limits on the Bank?s authority to dismiss officers ?at pleasure?? and ?the integral role of state anti-discrimination laws in the federal anti-discrimination scheme? revealed Congressional intent that the NBA not preempt the WLAD employment discrimination provisions ?at least insofar as they are consistent with the prohibited? ?grounds? ?for? ?termination? ?under the ADEA.??? Kroske? v.? U.S. Bank? Corp.,? No.? 04-35187 (Dec. 23, 2005, Tashima, Paez, Callahan).
National Bank Act Does Not Preempt Washington Law Against Discrimination Age Claim
Dec 23, 2005