Procedural Posture

Plaintiff petitioned for review of a decision of the Court of Appeal of California which affirmed the grant of summary judgment under the National Banking Act, 12 U.S.C.S. § 24 et seq., in a case alleging wrongful termination and violations of state and federal employment discrimination statutes.

California Business Lawyer & Corporate Lawyer, Inc. are Orange County Business Lawyers


Plaintiff, former bank employee, filed a complaint alleging that defendants bank and district manager had wrongfully terminated her in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) as well as misrepresentation and breach of contract. Upon defendants’ motion, summary judgment was granted, holding that § 8 of the National Bank Act, 12 U.S.C.S. § 24 et seq., preempted all state law underlying plaintiff’s complaint. The California Supreme Court reversed, holding that only to the extent that the FEHA actually conflicted with federal law was FEHA preempted under the Supremacy Clause, U.S. Const. art. VI, cl. 2. Looking to federal employment discrimination statutes, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C.S. § 2000e-2(a)(1), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C.S. § 623(a)(1), the appellate court further concluded that Congress intended to amend 12 U.S.C.S. § 24 and remanded the case for reinstatement of plaintiff’s claims.


The judgment was reversed and the case was remanded because, contrary to the ruling of the California Court of Appeal, the Banking Act was not a comprehensive statutory scheme which preempted all state law but only preempted the state employment discrimination statute to the extent conflicts between the statutes existed.