On May 30, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States held that section 56 of the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) does not address personal jurisdiction over railroads. The two underlying lawsuits were filed in Montana state courts even though the injured workers did not reside in Montana and were not injured in Montana, and even though BNSF was not incorporated in Montana.
On June 8, 2015, in International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Airlines Division v. Allegiant Air, LLC, No. 14-16465 (June 8, 2015), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that under the Railway Labor Act (RLA), employers are not precluded from unilaterally changing working conditions during negotiation of an initial collective bargaining agreement. The Allegiant decision reaffirmed the court’s earlier ruling in International Brotherhood Of Teamsters v. North American Airlines, 518 F.3d 1052 (9th Cir. 2008).