Maryland's Wal-Mart Act: Policy and Preemption

90 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2006

See all articles by Edward A. Zelinsky

Edward A. Zelinsky

Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law


Maryland's Wal-Mart Act raises two fundamental questions: Is the Act legal? Does the Act represent sound policy?

With respect to the legality of the Maryland statute, I conclude that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) preempts the Maryland law. As a matter of policy, the Maryland statute is ill-conceived. The Maryland Act raises prices on Wal-Mart's predominantly low-income customers and, for the long run, will reduce Wal-Mart's employment.

In the final analysis, Maryland's Wal-Mart Act is a poorly-designed exercise in political symbolism, rather than a carefully-crafted response to the pressing problem of health care in America.

Keywords: Wal-Mart, ERISA, Preemption, Maryland

Suggested Citation

Zelinsky, Edward A., Maryland's Wal-Mart Act: Policy and Preemption. Cardozo Law Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Edward A. Zelinsky (Contact Author)

Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law ( email )

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212-790-0277 (Phone)

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