Restaurant Owners Group to Ask Supreme Court to Review San Francisco Health Care Spending Law

By Staff Report

Jun. 5, 2009

A San Francisco-area restaurant trade association intends to file a petition next week with the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to review a 2008 federal appeals court decision upholding the legality of San Francisco’s health care spending law.

Golden Gate Restaurant Association executive director Kevin Westlye said the petition likely will be submitted Monday, June 8, or Tuesday, June 9.

This year, employers in San Francisco with at least 100 employees must make health care expenditures of $1.85 per hour for every eligible employee working at least eight hours per week, and those with 20 to 99 employees must pay $1.23 per hour.

Employers with fewer than 20 employees are exempt from the spending mandate. Expenditures can include payment of group health insurance premiums, contributions to health savings accounts and health reimbursement arrangements, or payments to the city.

The outcome of the litigation is important not just to employers in San Francisco.

The case also is being watched by employers nationwide who fear if the San Francisco law—which went into effect in January 2008—is upheld, it would open the floodgates to a wave of new health care spending laws by other cities and states looking for ways to expand coverage at no or little cost to themselves.

Benefits experts say that would result in higher health care and administrative costs for employers as they try to keep on top of new benefit mandate after benefit mandate, as well as making it impossible for multistate employers to offer uniform health care benefit plans.

The Supreme Court will decide whether to take up the case during its next term, which begins in October.

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

Workforce Management’s online news feed is now available via Twitter


blog workforce

We build robust scheduling & attendance software for businesses with 500+ frontline workers. With custom BI reporting and demand-driven scheduling, we help our customers reduce labor spend and increase profitability across their business. It's as simple as that.

Book a call
See the software

Related Articles

workforce blog


Minimum Wage by State in 2022 – All You Need to Know

Summary The federal minimum wage rate is $7.25, but the rate is higher in 30 states, along with Washing...

federal law, minimum wage, pay rates, state law, wage law compliance

workforce blog


California’s push for a 32-hour workweek explained, and how to prepare

Summary: California is considering a 32-hour workweek bill for businesses with over 500 staff 4 day wee...

32 hour workweek, 4 day workweek, california, legislature, overtime

workforce blog


A business owner’s guide to restaurant tipping law

Business owners in the restaurant industry are in a unique position when it comes to employee tips. As ...

restaurants, tip laws, tipping