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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If a business owner in the United States cannot afford to pay employees a decent wage with benefits, including health insurance, then that business owner cannot afford to be in business and should throw in the towel. Don't blame the president for your ineptitude and greed as a business owner, and don't expect pity from the rest of us! If you're no longer able to treat employees like indentured servants, just so you can live like kings and queens, don't blame Obamacare. Blame yourselves for being so self-serving and uncaring toward those who do the real work in your organization. In other words, take a look in the mirror in one of your palatial home's eight bathrooms and then cry me a freakin' river.
"I believe the best social program IS A JOB". Ronald Reagan.
Obama wake up. Country needs investors, businesses and jobs. Not lazy freeloaders.
The non-management employees mostly make minimum wage. They are peons who only make the company work, they didn't start the company. They are lower class human beings not worthy of the respect and benefits of the ruling class.
How's that change working out? Higher taxes, underemployment, the absorption of the middle class into the lower class so that everybody will be poor except the rich and they won't be rich for very long either. The wealthy in America will be absorbed into the one time middle class. Eventually if this nonsense continues very long nobody will have any kind of financial or job security unless they work for the Government. Uncle Sugar will control everything and the constitution will be entirely irrelevant!
Welcome to Europe! Socialist welfare Utopia!
Well you want it, so there it is, you deserve it! wait til prices go up to on everything else you buy just to cover obamacare. Did you think you would actually get things for free, you people make me sick pathetic losers
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The company plans to close stores and lay off employees, and says it needs to make some deeper changes.
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