Retail group plans challenge of Wal-Mart law

Tuesday, February 7th 2006, 12:45 pm
By: News On 6

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) _ A national retail industry trade association filed suit Tuesday challenging a Maryland law designed to pressure Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to spend more money on health care for its employees.

The law, the first of its kind in the nation, was enacted Jan. 12 when the Democratic-controlled legislature overrode Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich's veto of the health care bill. It requires companies with more than 10,000 employees in Maryland to spend at least 8 percent of payroll on health care or contribute the difference to the state Medicaid fund.

State officials said Wal-Mart is the only company of that size that does not meet the 8 percent threshold.

The suit was announced in Arlington, Va., by the Retail Industry Leaders Association, which represents companies that operate more than 100,000 stores with more than $1.4 trillion in annual sales.