A U.S. visitor spoke of her shock over a strange bill payment at one of her favorite Los Angeles restaurants.
She was charged 5 percent of the restaurant’s total medical expenses, which she assumed the restaurant would cover.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: The restaurant charges customers for employee medical care.
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Podcaster and fashion designer Ashley Nicole spotted the health care fee after dinner at Osteria La Buca on Jan. 9, but it turns out it’s not new.
“We enjoy the food, we get the check, we pay the check, and when we sign the tip, we notice something,” she said in a video posted to TikTok.
“There is a $4.75 health fee for employees. Five percent surcharge.
“As we leave, I walk up to the hostess and say, “Hey, quick question, just curious, I saw you charged us $5…for employees’ health. I just had to ask, what is it?”.
“And she says, ‘Oh, this is our health care.’
“I’ve never experienced this before and it’s weird. Did I live under a rock?
Los Angeles’ high-end restaurants have been charging customers extra for medical services since 2013, according to the Los Angeles Times.
After the introduction of Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act, which made employers accountable for employee health care, many businesses began using the premium to comply with laws while maintaining a narrow margin of profit.
“Under the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act, some employers… must either offer minimum required insurance coverage that is “affordable” and provides “minimal value” to their full-time employees (and their dependents).” — U.S. Department of the Interior . This was reported by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
People who had recently dined in the city replied that they noticed that fees were common there.
“This is definitely the practice in most restaurants (in LA)… I just adjusted my tip to be smaller,” one person commented on the video.
While most people agreed that the restaurant staff deserved medical attention, they struggled to take responsibility for the costs.
“Shouldn’t businesses pay for health care for employees, not customers?” wrote one person.
“I’m all for health care for everyone, but that’s the employer’s job,” said another.
“I pay a ridiculous amount for healthcare ONLY FOR MYSELF and my employer pays 50 percent. Why the hell am I supposed to pay for your treatment?” said the other.
7NEWS.com.au has contacted Osteria La Buca for comment.