For Immediate Release
Washington, DC – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) is confident the motion to dismiss our lawsuit by the City of Seattle, filed late yesterday, will be rejected by the court.
“The City of Seattle’s request to dismiss ERIC’s lawsuit against it, will not stop ERIC from fighting the health coverage and payment mandates in Part 3 of the Seattle Hotel Employees Health and Safety Initiative (SMC 14.25),” said Annette Guarisco Fildes, President and CEO, ERIC. “The Initiative obstructs federal law and ERIC strongly believes we have legal precedent on our side and that the courts will ultimately strike down this part of the Initiative.” ERIC’s opposition to the City’s request and its own motion that the Court decide all of the issues in favor of ERIC will be filed in the coming days.
Last month, ERIC and the City of Seattle agreed to a temporary non-enforcement of the Initiative. The agreement came after ERIC filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington against the City for obstructing the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the federal law that enables employers to administer health and retirement benefits uniformly across the country.
Under Part 3 of the Initiative, City hotels with at least 100 rooms must offer the affected employees (even if they have other coverage) coverage in an employer-sponsored group health plan with benefits that are the equivalent of gold-level medical policy on the Washington State insurance exchange at a cost of no more than five percent of their monthly gross taxable earnings or else provide additional compensation based, in part, on the cost of such coverage. ERIC’s lawsuit seeks to halt enforcement of Part 3 of the Initiative because it requires, uniquely for Seattle, a specified level of health plan benefits and precludes uniform plan administration.