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Is the San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance a Roadmap for States to Avoid ERISA Preemption?

SPONSORS: The Sections of Business Law, Health Law, Labor and Employment Law, Real Property, Trust and Estate Law, Taxation, and Tort Trial and Insurance Practice; And the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel

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A 90-minute TeleConference/Live Audio Webcast
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
1:00-2:30 pm ET / 12:00-1:30 pm CT / 11:00 am-12:30 pm MT / 10:00 am-11:30 am PT

Moderator: Julie Burbank, Trucker Huss APC, San Francisco, CA
Panelists: Alden Bianchi, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C., Boston, MA; Jeffrey Lewis, Lewis, Feinberg, Lee, Renaker & Jackson, P.C., Oakland, CA; Edward Sieger, Senior Attorney, U.S. Department of Labor Office of the Solicitor.

On September 30, 2008, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance is not preempted by ERISA in Golden Gate Restaurant Association v. City and County of San Francisco. The Ordinance requires covered employers to make minimum health care expenditures for their covered employees and mandates the City Department of Public Health to create the Health Access Plan, now called Healthy San Francisco. Despite the Ninth Circuit’s insistence that its decision is consistent with the Fourth Circuit’s 2007 decision striking down the Maryland Fair Share Law, is this case headed for the Supreme Court? In the meantime, what must employers do to comply? Our panel of experts will discuss the Ninth Circuit decision and examine the broader question of whether state and local laws of this nature should or should not be preempted by ERISA. The panel will also discuss what impact, if any, this decision may have on employer compliance and possible ERISA challenges to the employer spending requirements under other “pay-or-play" / "fair share” laws, including those adopted in Massachusetts and Vermont.

Is the San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance a Roadmap for States to Avoid ERISA Preemption?
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