Not a Lexis Advance subscriber? Try it out for free.

Golden Gate Rest. Ass'n v. City & County of San Francisco

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

April 17, 2008, Argued and Submitted, Pasadena, California; September 30, 2008, Filed

No. 07-17370, No. 07-17372

Opinion

 [*642]  W. FLETCHER, Circuit Judge:

Plaintiff Golden Gate Restaurant Association ("the Association") challenges the employer spending requirements of the newly enacted San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance ("the Ordinance"). The Association argues that the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA") preempts the employer spending requirements of the Ordinance either because those requirements create a "plan" within the meaning of ERISA or because they "relate to" employers' ERISA plans. On December 26, 2007, the district court granted the Association's motion  [**3] for summary judgment and enjoined the implementation of the employer spending requirements. Golden Gate Rest. Ass'n v. City & County of San Francisco, 535 F. Supp. 2d 968, 970 (N.D. Cal. 2007). On December 27, 2007, Defendant City and County of San Francisco ("the City") and Defendant-Intervenor labor unions requested that this court stay the judgment of the district court pending appeal. In an order filed January 9, 2008, we granted the stay. Golden Gate Rest. Ass'n v. City & County of San Francisco ("Golden Gate"), 512 F.3d 1112, 1114 (9th Cir. 2008). We now reach the merits of the appeal. We hold that ERISA does not preempt the Ordinance.

I. Procedural History

In July 2006, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance, and the mayor signed it into law. The Ordinance is codified at Sections 14.1 to 14.8 of the City and County of San Francisco Administrative Code. The Ordinance has two primary components: the Health Access Plan ("HAP"), and the employer spending requirements. The HAP 1 is a City-administered health care program. It went into effect in the summer of 2007. In funding the HAP, the City "prioritize[s] services  [**4] for low and moderate income persons." S.F. Admin. Code § 14.2(d) (2007). According to the City's web page, as of August 9, 2008, 27,395  [*643]  persons had enrolled in the HAP. 2 Persons who already have health insurance or who live outside of San Francisco are not eligible for the HAP. Instead, such persons may be entitled to establish medical reimbursement accounts with the City. As we will explain in detail below, the Ordinance also requires all covered employers to make a certain level of health care expenditures on behalf of their covered employees. The Association does not challenge the HAP. It challenges only the employer spending requirements.

The Association filed a complaint against the City on November 8, 2006, asking the district court to declare that ERISA preempts the employer spending requirements, and seeking a permanent injunction against enforcement of the provisions of the Ordinance relating to those requirements. The San Francisco Central Labor Council, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021, SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West,  [**5] and UNITE-HERE! Local 2 (collectively, "Intervenors"), successfully moved to intervene as defendants.

Read The Full CaseNot a Lexis Advance subscriber? Try it out for free.

Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.

546 F.3d 639 *; 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 20574 **; 44 Employee Benefits Cas. (BNA) 2761

GOLDEN GATE RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION, an incorporated nonprofit trade association, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO, Defendant, and SAN FRANCISCO CENTRAL LABOR COUNCIL; SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION, HEALTHCARE WORKERS-WEST; SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION, LOCAL 1021; UNITE HERE LOCAL 2, Defendant-intervenors-Appellants. GOLDEN GATE RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION, an incorporated nonprofit trade association, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO, Defendant-Appellant, and SAN FRANCISCO CENTRAL LABOR COUNCIL; SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION, HEALTHCARE WORKERS-WEST; SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION, LOCAL 1021; UNITE HERE LOCAL 2, Defendant-intervenors.

Subsequent History: En banc, Rehearing denied by Golden Gate Rest. Ass'n v. City & County of San Francisco, 558 F.3d 1000, 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 5191 (9th Cir., 2009)

Later proceeding at Golden Gate Rest. Ass'n v. City & County of San Francisco, 130 S. Ct. 357, 175 L. Ed. 2d 17, 2009 U.S. LEXIS 6804 (U.S., 2009)

US Supreme Court certiorari denied by Golden Gate Rest. Assoc. v. City & County of San Francisco, 130 S. Ct. 3497, 177 L. Ed. 2d 1089, 2010 U.S. LEXIS 5478 (U.S., 2010)

Prior History:  [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. D.C. No. CV-06-06997-JSW. D.C. No. CV-06-06997-JSW. Jeffrey S. White, District Judge, Presiding.

Golden Gate Rest. Ass'n v. City & County of San Francisco, 535 F. Supp. 2d 968, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94112 (N.D. Cal., 2007)

CORE TERMS

Ordinance, plans, employees, benefits, expenditures, healthcare, preempted, spending, covered employee, coverage, district court, preemption, obligations, regulation, funds, employee benefit plan, make payment, enrollment, eligible, surcharges, records, employee welfare benefit plan, benefit plan, state law, impermissible, relates, cases, administrative burden, medical reimbursement, healthcare services

Civil Procedure, Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, General Overview, Appeals, Summary Judgment Review, Standards of Review, Pensions & Benefits Law, Judicial Review, Standards of Review, De Novo Standard of Review, ERISA, Federal Preemption, Evidence, Inferences & Presumptions, Presumptions, State Laws, Amicus Curiae, Reviewability of Lower Court Decisions, Preservation for Review, Governments, Legislation, Interpretation