For years, I've wondered about those "health-care surcharges" that pop up on menus at local restaurants. The owners say they have to charge extra to pay for the city's health-care ordinance, which always struck me as odd: You don't see "avocado price hike surcharge" or "rent-went-up" surcharge or "PG&E rate hike" surcharge -- restaurants, like other businesses, typically roll those factors into their normal prices.Read more »
Back in 2006, when Tom Ammiano was a supervisor, the Board approved his trailblazing San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance (HCSO). But the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, which presumably prefers you get served by folks who don’t have health insurance (“Waiter, there’s a booger in my soup!”) sued the city over the program. GRRA was hoping to invalidate the employer spending requirements of the City's ordinance on the grounds that it violated the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act. And in its quest, GGRA, which represents restaurants statewide and was concerned that Ammiano’s citywide legislation would spread to other municipalities, tried to take its case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. But in June 2010, the "Supremes" denied review to GGRA’s legal challenge, ending a contentious four-year legal battle over "Healthy San Francisco." Or so everybody thought.But according to Sup. David Campos, who succeeded Ammiano as D9 supervisor and champion of the city’s health care legislation, some employers have been exploiting a loophole in the HCSo legislation to avoid their obligations under the law. And Campos now plans to stick a cork in this loophole. Read more »
When the news hit that Elizabeth Edwards had died at 61, I was sitting in the press box at San Francisco City Hall listening to the supervisors debate the merits of local hire legislation. In fact, I only became aware that Edwards had passed away, because Sup. Michela Alioto-Pier, who was sitting in front of me, was surfing the Internet on her laptop and I happened to see the headline. Read more »
San Francisco hospitality workers will join hotel employees in 14 other cities across the United States and Canada today, July 22, in a protest and civil disobedience demonstration against the Hyatt Corporation. The action in San Francisco begins at Local 2 Plaza, between 3rd and 4th streets on Market, at 4 p.m. The demonstration will eventually move toward Union Square and the Grand Hyatt San Francisco hotel, organizers said.