Paxti’s Chicago Pizza, famous for their deep dish pies, finds itself in deep for its less than savory practices toward employee health care.
The chain, with four locations in San Francisco, has agreed to serve a hefty slice of justice to employees who were stiffed out of city-mandated health care benefits between 2009 and 2011.
The business will shell out $205,000 to former and current employees who were eligible for Healthy SF coverage, and $15,000 in penalties towards The City. An additional $100,000 will be spent towards employee health care this year.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera commended the chain’s efforts to fix the issue. However, he hopes the case will warn other restaurant businesses:
“[...] Today’s settlement should send a strong message that San Francisco is serious about making sure that restaurants keep their promises to their customers about health care coverage.”
This case comes less than six months after an official report from San Francisco’s grand civil jury that found many restaurants were collecting the Healthy SF surcharges for their own gain. Healthy SF, a health coverage program, was passed in 2006 for those who do not quality for Medicare or Medi-Cal.
Paxti’s Chief Executive Officer William Freeman spoke to the SF Chronicle, and sounded proud that his company moved swiftly to rectify the findings of the city investigation:
“When we discovered that our health care plan did not comply with the San Francisco law and that we were collecting more in surcharges than we were paying for employee health care, we knew we needed to take immediate steps to make things right. I hope other restaurants will step up and participate in Dennis Herrera’s efforts to meaningfully address this issue.”
But I say as a responsible business owner in San Francisco, you should’ve known better.
Here’s to hoping other restaurants will own up and follow suit.