Golden Gate Restaurant Ass’n v. City & County of San Francisco, 512 F.3d 1112 (9th Cir. 2008)

In 2006, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed and the mayor signed into law the San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance which, among other things, requires employers with more than 20 employees to make healthcare expenditures on behalf of their employees. The ordinance was scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2008 before the district court determined that it was preempted by federal law, specifically the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), and enjoined its implementation. Two weeks later, the Ninth Circuit concluded the City has a “probability, even a strong likelihood, of success in their argument that the ordinance is not preempted by ERISA” and, therefore, ordered that the district court’s judgment be stayed pending resolution of the City’s appeal on the merits. Compare Luke v. Collotype Labels USA, Inc., 159 Cal. App. 4th 1463 (2008) (maintenance engineer’s wrongful termination claim was preempted by NLRA).