Court Confirms Illegality of 'Fair Share' Bill

BALTIMORE -- A U.S. Appeals Court here yesterday upheld a lower court's ruling that Maryland violated federal benefit laws when it passed a law requiring large companies to provide a minimum level of health care coverage for their workers.

BALTIMORE -- A U.S. Appeals Court here yesterday upheld a lower court‘s ruling that Maryland violated federal benefit laws when it passed a law requiring large companies to provide a minimum level of health care coverage for their workers. Maryland‘s so-called “fair share” law, which was seen as targeting Wal-Mart, had previously been found to violate the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, which prohibits states from regulating private companies‘ benefit programs. The law, seen as a model for similar proposals in legislatures around the country last year, would have required companies with 10,000 or more employees in the state to pay at least 8% of their payroll in health benefits or make up the difference in a health-fund tax.