SAN FRANCISCO—City Attorney Dennis Herera announced on Wednesday, May 8, that settlement agreements with 18 local restaurants businesses voluntarily took place in his office. The office was under the surcharge enforcement and amnesty program that seeks to remedy shortfalls between amounts collected from customers and funds that help provide health care benefits to employees.  As of January 2013, the restaurant workers net $844,644 among 1,500 eligible employees by 19 different companies.

“For restaurants that haven’t yet come forward, it’s still very much in their interest to do so voluntarily. I can’t guarantee the same favorable terms reflected in today’s settlements,” Herra said. “But cooperative engagement is better and more cost-effective than lawsuits.”

In January 2013, one-time 50 percent amnesty offer for establishments with shortfalls that provided fully cooperate with city investigators; which agree to good faith compliance with employer spending requirement of San Francisco’s Heath Care Security Ordinance. All agreements on Wednesday, May 8, that resolves disputes with the City over collected surcharges without admissions of liability.

Herrera said. “I commend these businesses for working cooperatively with us so early in the process, and for understanding our duty to enforce the law even-handedly. Today’s settlements reflect good faith efforts by restaurant owners and managers to do right by their employees, and to honor the intent of fees charged to their customers.”

Some of the 19 establishments that reached settlements under this program include 5A5 Steak Lounge, Amber India, B Star, Bix, Bugermeister, Burma Superstar, Cafe Bellini, Cafe Flore, MarketBar, Mina Group, Nob Hill Cafe, Press Club, Skool, and Tony’s Pizza Napoletana. Patxi’s Chicago Pizza also reached settlement, which was announced in January.

By: Jessica Claflin