Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1090122
 
 

Footnotes (85)



 


 



Golden Gate Restaurant Association: Employer Mandates and ERISA Preemption in the Ninth Circuit


Edward A. Zelinsky


Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law


Cardozo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 219
State Tax Notes, Vol. 47, 2008

Abstract:     
This Article focuses on two significant questions in the aftermath of the Ninth Circuit's decision in Golden Gate Restaurant Association, which stayed a District Court ruling that had held the San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance preempted by federal law. The core of that ordinance is the requirement that covered employers in San Francisco make minimum outlays for their own programs for their employees' health care or instead make contributions in the required amounts to the city to finance either San Francisco's Health Access Program (HAP) or municipally-run health reimbursement accounts. I conclude that under the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions construing ERISA Section 514(a), ERISA preempts the San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance.

An important, but so far unrecognized, consideration is that employers' payments to the City of San Francisco under the ordinance constitute ERISA-governed health plans because employers, by those payments, either purchase for their employees lower premiums for coverage in the city's Health Access Program or fund municipally-run health reimbursement accounts for those employees. By its ordinance, San Francisco is not just regulating employers' ERISA-governed health plans; it is administering such plans.

San Francisco's regulation of employers' ERISA-governed health plans is deep, intruding substantively and procedurally into each such plan via the ordinance's minimum expenditure and administrative requirements. Moreover, San Francisco's regulation of such plans is broad. Virtually all employer outlays for medical care constitute employee benefit plans under ERISA, whether such outlays are self-administered by the employer, are administered for the employer by a third party such as an insurer, or are administered by the city through its Health Access Program or its municipally-run reimbursement accounts. The San Francisco ordinance regulates the entire spectrum of these ERISA-governed plans. In addition, San Francisco's regulation of employers' ERISA health plans is direct, targeting such plans and impacting upon them directly by means of the ordinance's expenditure mandates and recordkeeping obligations.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 46

Keywords: ERISA, preemption, health plans, health care, local government, benefits, San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance

Accepted Paper Series





Download This Paper

Date posted: February 5, 2008 ; Last revised: October 4, 2008

Suggested Citation

Zelinsky, Edward A., Golden Gate Restaurant Association: Employer Mandates and ERISA Preemption in the Ninth Circuit. Cardozo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 219; State Tax Notes, Vol. 47, 2008. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1090122

Contact Information

Edward A. Zelinsky (Contact Author)
Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law ( email )
55 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY 10003
United States
212-790-0277 (Phone)
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 2,364
Downloads: 303
Download Rank: 58,056
Footnotes:  85

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo3 in 0.359 seconds