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."


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1965Comments
Jan 9, 2013 7:36PM
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Since when does working 30 hours a week equate to being a "full-time" employee.  Big gov't is a joke and is inept...as all you ****es who voted for Obama are now finding out...  
Jan 9, 2013 7:36PM
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Talk about ignorance, how is people getting healthcare worth all this nonsense. Last time i checked small business owners wth more then 50 full time employees sort of takes most businesses out of the loop. I never went to a mom and pop store with a 50 employees. This law would affect large corprations and busineness and of course they dont want to pay. Corporations are individuals apparently, and they must be doing so bad during the economic downturn. Oh and thats right most of these places pay their workers minimum wage. God forbid they paid theyre employees a living wage so they can actually afford insurance. Mean while when you get sick and have to go to a public hospital everybody pays. So BIG BUSINESS cannot afford to pay theyre employees a living wage but they can give an executive millions to run a company into the ground. They cant have taxes raised on them because they wont be able to hire anyone (for all you ignorants out there, The U.S GOVERNTMENT is the largest employer in this country). This is a joke, before you start talking out of ur ****, ( the gov. out to get us folks) grow up. We are a nation for the people not business, i dont feel sorry that companies who have made fortunes by not paying people and cheating people and working people to death, now are being forced to pay. If you dont like it LEAVE THIS COUNTRY. Lets see how long you want to deal with no infrastructure, uneducated labor force, crime and corruption. OH but thats right companies want to use all thestuff this great country has to offer but they dont want to pay for it. ANd before you call me a socialists, I served this country and am raising a family in an apartment. While the owners of these companies complain about the costs living in a mansion. Does that seem normal to you. I dont mind paying for the good of others because i might need those services at some point. This folks are not victims, i dont feel sorry for them and for all you supporting their argument because you dont like the first black president, well you are just racist my friend. You werent complaining when a good old boy from the great state of Texas was prez. We all know how that turned out.
Jan 9, 2013 7:35PM
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Idiot Americans, get social medicine like the rest of the world. Canada LOVES their health care and so does Europe.  Take a look at the houses the owners have, screwing the employees all the time.  What do all these people watch FOX news???/ Idiot America....
Jan 9, 2013 7:34PM
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AND THIS IS ADMINISTRATION CLAIMS THEY WANT TO CREATE JOB! THIS IS WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITH OBUMADON'TCARE!

IT'S JUST THE BEGINNING AND WE HAVE FOUR MORE YEARS.

GOD HELP US

Jan 9, 2013 7:33PM
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The brainless zombies that voted Odumbo and the Clown back into office, after running on absolutely nothing except "We can do better next time lambs", will always try to find a way to make this the employer's fault. Start thinking like a business owners instead of hourly employees...maybe you'll become one. Then you can donate as much of your hard earned cash to whatever social inadequacy you feel most passionate about that...hour of the day.  Hey folks...Obamacare only gets worse next year. I don't think Odumbo believed he actually had a chance of being re-elected...how could THAT many people ignore the obvious. This is probably why he wasted his first two years in office pushing this farce through without the support of his employers...and having most of it go into effect on another persons watch. Guess what Barry...the Kool-aid worked so now YOU'RE stuck with the mess...oh, and the rest of us too...except the politicians...who have different health care.   I KNOW RIGHT??
Jan 9, 2013 7:30PM
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Hmmm who didn't see this coming....Corporate America does not care to cover it's employee's if it's gonna cut into profits. Oh but capitalist can do this........right?
Jan 9, 2013 7:30PM
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PIG ROAST DEBATE/ PRESIDENT BUSH

i know this has nothing to do with this article but someone please im begging you help me find the video clip of president george w bush during a live televised debate ( i think with the chancellor of germany) where he cant come up with an appropriate answer to the question so his response was something along the lines of " i sure cant wait for that pig roast tonight" i have searched everywhere and cant find it. it has to be in the top ten funniest things ive ever seen. please please please give me a link to it. i would be forever grateful.

Jan 9, 2013 7:30PM
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Hey, there would be no agida if the 1% would support the fair tax, and fund true national healthcare through that.  But as usual, they are more concerned about keeping capitol gains at or below 20% instead of a consumption tax.  As usual, what's best for the exceptionally wealthy, and not the country as a whole.
Jan 9, 2013 7:30PM
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I may have been unclear earlier...I refer you to a Dec4 article where the CEO of Hostess (yea, going broke) cut everyone's pay but his ($125,00.00 per month). Some small businesses will suffer but these overpaid jerks are whining the loudest. Give small businesses hiring and insurance incentives and tax the hell out of these overpaid jokers.
Jan 9, 2013 7:29PM
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America will never become a single payer country for health insurance .Until you limit the amount of money politicians get to run for office. All the middle men in the health care and insurance businesses make sure of that.
Jan 9, 2013 7:28PM
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These whiners of Obamacare either are very rich or swayed by right wing propoganda. I bet if the some kind of health care reform came from Bush as Bushcare, the same people would have placed him in the line of Abe Lincoln. Just because it is a democrat idea, these hate mongers oppose that idea. Let these baggers be mindful that Social Security, Medicare, OT after 40 hour work week are few of the legislations came from democratic party. These ideas then were opposed by right wingers then and the people who vote republicans can't live without SS or Medicare. Hypocrites! Businesses like Wendys and Papa John should be boycotted for treating their employees badly.
Jan 9, 2013 7:27PM
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Papa Johns - $8 million more? How about running 3 less SuperBowl ads, that'll cover it and your sales wouldn't even be affected. As bad as the commercials are, running less might even help sales.
Jan 9, 2013 7:27PM
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PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN, when billion dollar corporations can't even man up  to help pay some health ins.
Jan 9, 2013 7:25PM
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Want to get around obumer's care? give everyone who works for you a 1099 that way they work for themselves and it don't matter how many hours they work!
Jan 9, 2013 7:25PM
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The new Obama Care program will destroy the Americn Economy, but that appears

to be part of the plan.  I would like to thank the 51% of the Americans that voted for

this mess.  You are killing the goose that lays the golden egg. 

Jan 9, 2013 7:24PM
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Yes let's all defend the fast food owners. They bring so much good to society it's madness to expect them to provide anything other than minimum wage and a few gristle-burgers at break time.
Jan 9, 2013 7:23PM
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The greedy bastards should pay for the coverage their employees deserve.
Jan 9, 2013 7:23PM
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A small price to uncrowd our hospital emergency rooms where the resources are used up by non-paying clients without insurance or any means to pay.

 

I find it amazingly stupid for a  company to make a public statement like this, even if they are doing it.

At least half their customers are likely to disagree with them, perhaps strongly enough to cease going there?

 

The capitalist, libertarian view would have us living like they do in India, with a privledged upper class on one side, and lepers in the street on the other.  I'd prefer "single payer" insurance, but thanks to our do nothing Congress that didn't happen.   So, "Obamacare", will have to do.  

Jan 9, 2013 7:22PM
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Incredible!  What a shame that rather then take a small cut in comparison to profit.  The greed continues. By the way the Pizza being serviced is not exactly a health food so Mr. John is really part of the HealthCare problem on all fronts.  Shameful and Greedy!
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