San Francisco Officials Appeal Healthy Security Ordinance Ruling

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently heard oral arguments from San Francisco officials appealing an order issued by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California regarding the city's Healthy Security Ordinance, which comprises part of the "Healthy San Francisco" initiative. The ordinance requires covered private employers to make certain minimum expenditures by paying directly into health savings accounts, contributing to private health insurance plans, or participating in a city health plan created by the ordinance.

In the contested order, issued Dec. 26, 2007, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White found the ordinance's expenditure requirements to be preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Congress enacted ERISA to eliminate "the threat of conflicting or inconsistent State and local regulation of employee benefit plans," and under U.S. Supreme Court precedent, a state law is preempted by ERISA if it is either connected with or makes reference to an ERISA plan, according to White's order. He held that the ordinance "affects plan administration, a core area of ERISA concern;" that "employers would necessarily have to keep an eye on the minimum health care spending requirements in each locality in order to comply with potentially conflicting requirements," thus conflicting with "ERISA's promise to provide a uniform regulatory regime;" and that the ordinance "specifically references the existence of [ERISA] plans."

White's order temporarily stalled the San Francisco program from taking effect on January 1, 2008. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit agreed last week to allow the program to begin, for now, until it rules on the merits of the appeal.

To view White's order in Golden Gate Restaurant Ass'n v. San Francisco, No. 06-06997 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 26, 2007), Click Here. For more information about the "Healthy San Francisco" program, go to www.healthysanfrancisco.org.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Comply with OSHA’s Electronic Recordkeeping Requirements

    Collect relevant incident data and generate accurate OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 regulatory reports, including 300A CSV files for easy electronic submission to OSHA.

  • Complete Online Safety Training Courses

    Deliver state-of-the art, online safety training courses to your organization with IndustrySafe Training Management Software. Generate reports to track training compliance and automatically notify learners of upcoming or overdue classes.

  • Easy to Use Safety Inspection App

    Conduct inspections on the go with IndustrySafe’s mobile app. Complete safety audits at job sites and remote locations—with or without web access.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus