NYC Mayor Vetoes Grocer Health Coverage Mandate

September 20, 2005 ( - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has vetoed a grocer health coverage mandate that received overwhelming support from the City Council in August.

The mandate would have required that grocery stores with at least 35 employees or other retail stores with 10,000 square feet of food products contribute an amount equal to the prevailing employer contributions New York City grocers now make towards their employees’ health insurance coverage (See Big Apple Passes Grocer Health Coverage Mandate ).

According to Business Insurance, Bloomberg said the mandate was well intentioned but “suffers from several legal deficiencies that render the bill invalid,” the most significant being that it is pre-empted by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

He also said the mandate was “arbitrary and capricious” and would not be an “effective mandate for the countless workers and families across New York City who would remain uninsured under this proposal,” Business Insurance reports.

It is expected that the City Council will override the veto. Thirty four votes would be necessary for an override and the council voted 46-1 to approve the measure in August.