Wendy’s franchise cuts hours to avoid Obamacare

The action is the latest in a series of challenges against next year's implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

By Bruce Kennedy Jan 9, 2013 10:13AM

Doctor sitting in office with patient talking and smiling -- Paul Bradbury, OJO Images, Getty ImagesThe small-business backlash against Obamacare continues. A Wendy’s fast-food franchise in Nebraska is cutting the hours of non-management employees so its owners won't be required to pay health benefits.

The local franchise vice president in Omaha tells WOWT-TV the cuts are coming in several weeks’ time because he cannot afford to pay health insurance for all his employees.

Starting next year the U.S. Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, will require employers with 50 or more full-time employees to offer full-time workers "minimum essential" healthcare coverage. The Act defines a full-time employee as someone who works at least 30 hours a week.

As a result, about 100 Wendy’s workers in Omaha have been told their hours are being cut.

"It has a huge effect on me and pretty much everybody that I work with," T.J. Growbeck, who currently works 36 to 37 hours a week at the restaurant, told WOWT. "I'm hoping that I can get some sort of promotion because then I would get my hours, but everybody is shooting for that because of the hours being cut."

Wendy's spokesman Denny Lynch told the Huffington Post the decision was being made at the franchise level.

"Our franchisees are independent businesspeople, and they make the decisions regarding their restaurant teams," he said. "As small-business employers, our franchisees are facing rising food and operating costs and many new government regulations."

While Wendy’s says the hours-cutting action by its Omaha franchise is not "a company decision," several major restaurant chains have been very vocal in their criticism of Obamacare.

A case in point: Papa John's (PZZA) CEO John Schnatter said the Affordable Care Act would cost his company up to $8 million a year, which would force him to increase product costs and cut workers’ hours.

Other restaurant franchises, meanwhile, are also looking at options ahead of Obamacare. John Rigos, owner of a Five Guys franchise in New York City, told CBS News the new regulations will affect hiring policies at his restaurants. 

"It'll probably have to reduce the staff to some degree," he said, "and again, focus on building [a] smaller stronger team rather than being as aggressive in opening up new stores and creating new jobs."

Rigos said while he "absolutely" supports Obamacare, he still finds it challenging.

"There's 25,000 restaurants within the New York City market we're competing against," he notes, "so it's not like we have surplus profits that we could just earmark a portion of them to go toward these types of initiatives."

More on Money Now

Jan 9, 2013 9:17PM
Gee, never saw that coming.

But health insurance is suppose to be free under Obama, right?
Jan 9, 2013 9:14PM
nope it not all of government's fault,you can put  a big bullseye on obama then go down the line to every stinking democrat that voted for this ****.but biggest blame goes to the fools that let this jerk snow them again for re-election & 4 yrs more of this tryant....old saying 'be careful what you ask for'.when are people going to see that this guy is a liar.worse part is alot of innocent people are going to lose everything .i hope this a-hole gets caught before too many people are lost..i can't  remember this much turmoil in our country.Congrats OBAMA you sure can screw up a country.
Jan 9, 2013 9:13PM
I will bet all you sheep that not one of you have read the new health bill but intently listen to the propaganda that your non-fact checking sources feed you at the trough of " if I only had a brain"
I am a small business and have in house , CPA , and health plan manager.
The main thing wrong with obama-care is that all the  right -wing barn floor material is sticking to your boots and when you tried to wipe it off , now it's on your hands and your nose itches. Yes, just like ****, propaganda also travels in strange ways.
Go home and look in the mirror and see if there is even a trace of compassion , imagine you worked at Mac's trying to support a family with no benefits. 
I know you won't because even the thought scares you so go out to dinner and order a double platter of greed , then drive your new car home to your big house and sleep well on your sleep number comfort  bed.
After all , you don't owe anybody anything , you got your 's so they can go get theirs. We are all created equal so it should'nt be a problem. Sleep well and don't forget your annual check-up with your Dr. , some don't get that offering.
One more thing , what's Canada got that we don't have? Why is it that you all don't mind driving on gov't highways or using taxpayer sewer system's gov't insured banking deposits or hiding under the protection of a gov't military of which is mostly ranked by those that you seem to think should live somewhere else." America, love it or leave it "

Jan 9, 2013 9:11PM
The comments from the business owners of the wendy's pretty much summed up what other businesses will end up doing. They will simply eliminate all full time workers (40 hour) people and drop their hours to less than 30, then hire a couple at less than 30 hours a week to make up the other hours that are needed at their franchise. So in other words, they will hire more people but at less hours so they can avoid having to pay insurance. Who really sounds like the greedy sons of b@tches here? Sounds to me like the franchise owners or businesses owners are...caring more about their bottom dollar than their own employees and how many hours they will get. REMEMBER FOLKS, IT'LL ALWAYS BE ABOUT THE BOTTOM DOLLAR...GREED IS WHAT WILL KILL THIS COUNTRY.
Jan 9, 2013 9:11PM

The Obama supporters get to feel the sucker punch in the face yet again.  I'm sure those employee are going to enjoy the health care they don't get with the reduced income they are going to get.  Hail the Community Leader?

Not to worry though, my 24 hour part time job that keep homeless with be a great experience they will want to thank Obama for.

Jan 9, 2013 9:07PM

You voted for Obama and this Administration, what the hell are you all complaining about, and ,,it's all just starting, just wait several more months you will just love it, it really gets bad.


America is under attack from within the White House, this is all very serious. I never have felt so UN-SAFE. It is now at the point that I do not trust anyone..

Jan 9, 2013 9:06PM
You people act like businesses will go under if they have to help pay for health insurance for it's employees. The main companies that have a problem with this are small business owners and crap companies (low paying jobs anyways) like Mcdonalds where most of their workers don't get over 30 hours a week anyways unless your the manager or owner. They are just mad that they might lose that extra penny from their own greedy profits. The sad truth that people don't see is that these same businesses are paying money anyways to the current HEALTH INSURANCE that employees have to pay to their full time workers. Like I said, the only people are complaining are the businesses that HAVE NO INSURANCE AT ALL to their employees, and most of those businesses rarely have anybody that works over 30 hours a week anyways because the employees mostly get paid horribly to begin with and wouldn't want full time work at minimum wage jobs to begin with. The only ones that will hurt will be the very small mom and pop business owners and we all know most of the workers in a small and pop business are family or friends to begin with.
Jan 9, 2013 9:04PM
I sure wish people in this country would act like true Americans. All I want to say is that affordable health care will become a great thing once people see what it will do for thousands of hard working people in this great country. I normally just read what people have to wright about and not commit. I just have to put my two cents in on this one because I'm tired of reading all this. I'm a small business owner and have been since 1992. I know most of you credicts that hate this have someone else paying for all or some of your insurance. I just want to speak out to let yall no that not all people this will benefit or the none tax payers. I have paid plenty of taxes in my years in business. I have also paid dearly for high cost of insurance. All i want is to have a chance to make a descent living and also be able to afford to take care of my family with dissent health care. I no none of you that or complaining give a rats **** about others or you wouldn't be righting the nonsense thing ya'll righting. I don't here any of yall complaining about the insurance you or all paying for this so called public service ****s that arent liking us getting what they have been getting for ever. I am sorry not the same thing A HOLE LOT DAMN BETTER. But no just like the great american way let all just think what's best for us and screw the rest of the country.
Jan 9, 2013 9:03PM
There was a time we would buy slaves and they would work for us the rest of their lives and if they have children they would work for us also for the rest their lives. If they got sick or die we didn't care ,we would just get rid of them and buy another one. We all made a lot of money then, except the slaves, even then dogs had a better health care and a better government to see that they would not be taken advantage of, we care more for our dogs than the people who works for us. Why worry about the poor, they are the only ones who would work $7.25 per hour, they can pay for their own health care and I'm sure the government forced us to collect income tax from them, and if they die you can always find more people. We are not in business to take care of the poor people that work for us, just like we were not in business to take care of slaves, we are in business to use the poor people to get rich and if we should be able to keep all of our money. Only the poor people should pay taxes and work for us, they should be glad that we gave them a job, just like the slaves are they would be lazy good for nothing people.
Jan 9, 2013 9:02PM
I asked several people in the fast food industry what their Benefits were they all looked at me and laughed. The ONLY peron on the staff who was full time and got benefits was the manager. Wake up! Obama care changes nothing. That is the way fast food chains and most restaurants have been avoiding paying anyone benefits for years. Instead of bitching about Obama how about bitching how Labor has no rights in this county.
Jan 9, 2013 9:00PM
I find it shocking that so many people are actually surprised that companies are reducing hours.  How blind and ignorant can you be???  Small business will be devastated by Obamacare.  In case you haven't figured it out....someone actually has to pay for it.  AND.....it can't be those evil rich people.  Absolutely amazing!
Jan 9, 2013 8:59PM

Gee, what a shock that these companies want to continue making a profit!  Maybe next they will want to decide what kind of food they serve without getting feedback from the "best and brightest" from guvment!

Jan 9, 2013 8:58PM

Well where can we start.  Unfortunately the "free bees" and "gimme gimme wan't wan'ts" have

prevailed.  We now have to pay more for less, and for the majority of people who dont work at all.

This is called "paying for votes" on a massive scale.  This is how this administration works to get re-elected.  Buy the poor and low income vote and increase them as we go foward. Future elections bought and paid for.   With who's money.  The middle class (which is disapearing) and the upper class which is also disapearing. (or leaving the country with jobs)  More and more big business will now leave.  Except for the ones where B.H.O. and his Socialist Progressive Liberals have paid back.  Like he did with the last bill that was passed on taxes.  Did you really think the bill was only about the cliff and taxes.  In the future when there is a big bill up for a vote dont be fooled by what everyone is screaming about look at the "pork" you know paybacks.  G.E. was one of the companies in the bill that got millions of payback money.  Have all you Obama voters noticed your take home pay has been reduced by 2.9% ALREADY NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU MAKE!!!!!  I know of raises that were to happen this year have been cancelled due to Obamacare.  America the land of the free ride untill the fat cow is broke and speaking chinese or muslim.  Forget a revolution there won't be any guns left.....see how predictable and systematic.  Wake up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Jan 9, 2013 8:55PM
Since when is health care a right?  Gee, I always thought living in America and earning your way was a privilege.  Now, no one has to perform if they don't want to, but everything that used to be earned is a right.  Doesn't make sense.  
Jan 9, 2013 8:54PM

Hey Johnny Rigos,

As the owner of a Five Guys restaurant, he above article quotes you as saying you'll have to reduce staff as a result of Obamacare:

Rigos said while he "absolutely" supports Obamacare, he still finds it challenging.

Well, if you still support Obamacare, then step up to the plate and pay the expenses for your employees and elect NOT to cut your staff to fall under the 50 employee Obamacare limit.


Jan 9, 2013 8:54PM

That's what Americans wants to work less and more time to relax.  The rich will have to pay more.

We elected someone who does not know how to work for living. 

Jan 9, 2013 8:53PM
It's amazing that we are hating on this new business "expense" like it is forcing us to get non-essential stuff for our business. This will take care of your workers, the same peeps raking the money in for ya, even while the knife you used to stab them via measly wages and heavy work schedules  are still buried in their backs. Come on !
Jan 9, 2013 8:53PM
John Schnatter makes 3 million annual. I'm sure he has several execs making similar salaries. Why are you people so stupid not to take a little less and provide insurance for the employees who made you rich. No, you'd rather screw thousands of your employees than take a little pay cut.
Jan 9, 2013 8:51PM

You can blame Obama all you want big business is out of control starting with the banks, we have seen this very clearly after the bail out and they bailed no one out but themselves.  Big business runs our government, they choose who we vote for and what will be done in this country, we don't have a chance if they are not stopped.  Talk about slavery it is coming back and all of us working people are the slaves, and they have us where we have to do what ever they want to keep our jobs.  We can fight back!  Protests, stop buying from places that are hurting employees.  No one makes money without the working people.  We need to stand together to make the major changes needed for survival in this country.  I have never been more embarrassed of our politicians especially the republicans for their bickering and foot stomping instead of finding real solutions with out major business influence!!! It is time for us to do the right thing and band together!!!
Jan 9, 2013 8:51PM
What's ironic is that Obamacare WILL save lives . . . save lives of people who would otherwise not have health coverage. 

Meanwhile the shortsighted and ignorantly blind, once again, argue against this life-saving health insurance as if it is some philosophical political tool (as are most of the 'right's' complaints and arguments against their fellow Americans) and completely avoid and disregard the REAL benefits that will come about.  90% or more of those who complain about Obamacare will NEVER be affected by it.  However, they are the first in line to b!tch about it.!
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

Trending NOW

What’s this?


[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market began the new trading week on the defensive note with small-cap stocks pacing the retreat. The Russell 2000 (-1.4%) and Nasdaq Composite (-1.1%) displayed relative weakness, while the S&P 500 lost 0.8% with all ten sectors ending in the red.

Global equities began showing some cracks overnight after China's Finance Minister Lou Jiwei poured cold water on hopes for new stimulus measures. Specifically, Mr. Lou said the government has no plans to change ... More