The Los Angeles Times is reporting that restaurant-goers are paying more than just tax and tip when dining out—a new policy at an L.A. restaurant means that diners will also be contributing to covering the cost of the restaurant’s employees’ health insurance premiums. Republique, an upscale restaurant featuring a café and bistro, is now adding a 3% surcharge to customers’ bills to cover the cost of health insurance coverage for its employees, from servers down to dishwashers. The owners of Republique pointed to the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) as the major impetus for the new policy. Under the ACA’s so-called Employer Mandate, applicable large employers must offer health insurance coverage to their employees or face penalties. By passing some of the cost of employee health insurance coverage to consumers, the owners of Republique hope to meet their obligations under the ACA.
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