Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal Upholds Enforceability of San Francisco Ordinance Mandating Employer Spending for Health Care


Last year, San Francisco enacted its Health Care Security Ordinance (?HCSO?) in an effort to ensure that all individuals who live or work in San Francisco have access to affordable healthcare. The HCSO was to become effective in January 2008. The fate of the HCSO became uncertain when, on December 26, 2007, a U.S. district court held that the HCSO was preempted by ERISA and issued an injunction prohibiting its enforcement. Golden Gate Rest. Ass?n v. San Francisco, 535 F. Supp. 2d 968 (N.D. Cal. 2007). On January 9, 2008, however, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal stayed the injunction, allowing the HCSO to be enforced until it could make a final determination regarding ERISA preemption. Golden Gate Rest. Ass?n v. San Francisco, 512 F.3d 1112 (9th Cir. 2008). In granting the stay, the Ninth Circuit indicated that the HCSO would likely be found to be valid and enforceable.

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