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.
The 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."
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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!
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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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.
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.
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!!!
Focusing just on the fast-food industry for a moment, they seem to be getting a double-whammy by the government. Separate from the morality of giving employees healthcare options, the Affordable Care Act regulations will cost more money to restaurant owners. That's an indisputable fact. It doesn't mean that ACA shouldn't happen, but ACA supporters can't ignore the real-life effects it will have on a large protion of the American population and the economy. So that's one whammy, rise in costs (some businesses can survive, others probably won't).
The second whammy for fast-food restaurants - While ACA kicks in (and the real effect can't be accurately examined til 2014 when everything takes place), the White House and liberals demonize fast-food as so unhealthy it's criminal in their perspective (think of all the bills to ban ingredients). It's pretty indisputable that eating fast-food regularly with inadequate exercise is bad for us, but there is a limit to how healthy a restaurant can become before it can no longer deliver the speed and convenience many of us rely on. At what point will we stop trying to ban and regulate what they need to do to produce edible (maybe not healthy but still edible), affordable, time-efficient food?
I live 15 minutes from my work and have 1 hour lunches. I have to drive back to the area where I live to have access to any restaurants because my employment is in a prison and so the surrounding areas are farms and small offices. Driving alone takes half my lunch, so I can't go into healthier sit-down restaurants. And before people attack me about going out to lunch, I typically pack lunch or buy lunch from the staff grille where inmates cook for staff. But I doubt most work environments have a staff cafeteria, and even an hour lunch can be short for healthier lunch options.
So ACA plus the war on food options can really hurt the fast-food industry. Maybe some people want that to happen, and maybe it's for the greater good. But if that's the case, or you're a person who believes that it should happen, then just say it! But please don't post comments that ignore reality and only focus on bashing opposing views.
And just so I'm clear, liberals need to stop making excuses for the ACA and the war on fast-food. I get it, you want it all gone and for business owners to have exactly and only what their employees have. Fine! But don't pretend like you have a better argument or logic because you ignore signifcant realities and facts.
Can't blame Wendy's at all for doing this. They have to survive in order to give people work at all. Blame ot all on the HOPE and CHANGE this country voted for. How is it working for ya obama supporters?
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