In Golden Gate Rest. Ass'n. v. San Francisco, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a portion of a San Francisco ordinance which requires covered employers to make a certain level of health care expenditures (of at least $1.17 an hour) on behalf of their eligible employees was not preempted by federal law. Although a group of employers claimed that the ordinance impermissibly encroached upon ERISA, the court determined that the law did not create, or relate to, an ERISA "plan."
The Ninth Circuit's decision (which has jurisdiction over California, among other western states) may open the door for similar health care funding legislation by other municipal or local governments in California.