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Woman Complains After She Was Charged An Additional 5% 'Employee Health Fee' On Restaurant Bill

Photo: TikTok
Ashley Nicole, employee health fee on restaurant bill

A woman was left flabbergasted after noticing an unusual charge on her restaurant bill.

In a TikTok video, Ashley Nicole showed off not only the receipt she got after she and her friend went out to dinner, but highlighted a surcharge that had been added that didn't just include the tip.

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Nicole revealed she'd been charged an additional 5% 'employee health fee' on her bill.

"The weirdest thing just happened to me," Nicole began in her video.

She explained that she and her friend had recently gone out to dinner at an Italian restaurant in Los Angeles, which Nicole added she'd been to "multiple times" in the past.

"We enjoy our meal, we get the check, we pay for our check, and as we were signing the tip and stuff, we notice something."

   

   

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Nicole then shows the exact bill she and her friend had received at the restaurant, making sure to highlight the unusual 5% "employee health fee," which added $4.75 to the overall total.

After noticing the fee, Nicole said she immediately began to question what an "employee health fee" was, and why, as a customer, she was being charged for it.

She decided to ask the hostess as she was walking out of the restaurant after paying the bill.

"I'm like 'Hey, quick question, I saw that you guys charged us $5 each for employee health, and I just had to ask what is that?'" Nicole asked the restaurant employee, adding that the fee had been individual and not for their entire table.

The hostess answered that the fee was for the restaurant's staff health care.

Nicole was left shocked at the hostess' answer, saying that she'd "never heard of that before," and questioned if such a thing was a normal charge in restaurants.

"Is that normal?" she inquired. "Have I been living under a rock and this is a normal thing, or is this weird?"

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Restaurants have previously started adding surcharges to cover healthcare costs for their employees.

According to the New York Times, surcharges similar to what was seen on Nicole's bill began appearing around 2008.

It started after voters in San Francisco approved an ordinance requiring businesses with more than 20 employees to set aside funds for health care. 

Furthermore, the Affordable Care Act, which went into effect in 2010, requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees to offer health benefits. 

However, many restaurants simply adopted a surcharge to cover the cost of health insurance for employees, instead of providing it themselves, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The added cost has caused many diners to speak out against the surcharge, especially among people who have to also pay for their own health benefits that come out of their checks.

In a similar video, another woman, Jillian, showed off a receipt she'd gotten after attending brunch in June 2022, where the same surcharge appeared on her check for "staff benefits."

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"I was flabbergasted," Jillian remarked in her TikTok video, noting how unfair it is for the burden of paying for healthcare to fall on the customers rather than the employers.

"So you’re telling me every two weeks, it’s money taken out of my check to pay for my health insurance just so when I go to the doctor I still [have to] pay them more money to treat me, and then pay more money to get my meds from the pharmacy,” she said in disbelief.

"And now companies are allowed to put the burden for paying for their employees' health care on customers? Like what?” she added.

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter.

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