Restaurant Association Appeals Health Mandate Ruling

By Staff Report

Oct. 31, 2008

The Golden Gate Restaurant Association filed a petition October 22 with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals seeking a rehearing by the full court of last month’s decision by a three-judge panel that approved San Francisco’s health care spending mandate, said the association’s executive director, Kevin Westlye.

Under the San Francisco ordinance, which went into effect in January, employers in the city must contribute to health care coverage to avoid fines.

The unanimous three-judge panel had ruled that the ordinance does not conflict with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, which pre-empts state and local regulations that relate to employee benefit plans. The panel reasoned that the spending law does not “create an employee welfare plan.”

Filed by Judy Greenwald of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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