Sick restaurant surcharges you shouldn’t have to pay — or should you?

Ilolab/Shutterstock
Ilolab/Shutterstock
Ward Chartier almost choked on his breakfast croissant he ordered at Oakland International Airport recently.

The reason for his consternation: an item on the bill that he thought he recognized, but hoped he didn’t.

It said, “EmpBen_Srchg” and it came to 12 cents, or about 2 percent of his bill.

“I interpret this to be employee benefit surcharge,” says Chartier, a consultant who lives in San Ramon, Calif. He asked me if I knew anything about the mysterious fee.

I didn’t, so I asked Oakland Airport.
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Spaced out in Oakland

The Oakland Hills may be the last place you’d expect to find a first-rate museum dedicated to space and science. But that’s exactly what we discovered yesterday, when we stumbled upon the Chabot Space & Science Center.

Well, we didn’t exactly stumble upon it. We had read about it, but we didn’t know what to expect up in the Oakland Hills.
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