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 10, 2013 1:42PM
I'm simply an american whose begun to hear the cheers of victory by the Democrats lesson to a quiet fear. Do you middle class americans hear it too? It's to late. The lesson to be learned by the middle class Democrats is, quote: "be careful  of what you wish for..." (end)
Jan 10, 2013 1:38PM

Here is one option to Obamacare.  My company which has been in crisis since Obama was voted in, is considering closing its doors  The company is 65 years young and may not make it due to higher tax rates , healthcare (which by the way have always had healthcare until 2 months ago.) , fuel pricing, workman's comp, general liability, state tax,  EPA, etc.  etc. etc.

Obama has been out to get the small business since his election.  We worry his new tax might be ....to tax small companies for closing their doors. 

NOTE:  Upon checking spell check, the spell check wants me to correct Obama with Osama.

Jan 10, 2013 1:34PM
WHAT A BUNCH OF GREEDY GREEDY PEOPLE. do you know that ours is the largest military budget in the world??  check the percentage of of the budget that fuels our war machine. do we really have to rule the world?? for what so the greedy can get richer??  choke on your money i bet you didnt share your toys as a kid did you??  CORPORATE GREED STINGY BASTARDS!

Funny how GREED seems to be the conclusion of people who believe they are due more than they were GIVEN, NOT EARNED!

Consider that the real reasons are completely reversed!

There are almost NO TRUE POOR in America, no one is starving, there are a multitude of programs that address that.

No one is freezing, same story, many low income and welfare driven programs for that.

Housing .......... same.

Education ............. free.

These programs don't even come close to explaining the 10's of thousands of tax free charitable organizations that the real taxpayer already cover the expenses of their wear and tear on the national infrastructure.

Healthcare in emergency situation has been available with or without insurance or even citizenship for a long time.

This is really about people who started the phrase: "but, I'm worth it" and proceeded to indebt themselves and family, by abusing credit and claiming that "WANT and NEED" are synonymous.

New cars that they literally can not afford to maintain or insure, every creature comfort and toy that they saw someone who could actually pay for to have, buy on credit, "we deserve homes with less than nothing down", people who insist that traits like charity were common enough to claim as "HUMAN" when reality says that less than 15% of the humans on the planet subscribe to that trait!

GREED is the correct word, it is just those who claim they saw a Star Trek movie in which everyone had everything for free and it was the perfect utopian society.

You don't NEED, you just WANT and were taken in by the carnie sideshow barker that promised you what he can not supply!

Jan 10, 2013 1:28PM
No problem. I'll just boycott Wendy's like I will do for any other company like Papa John's who will reduce hours so their employees won't have health care. What a bunch of pathetic losers who pay about minimum wages and take home $millions!
Jan 10, 2013 1:19PM
Don't forget, this is all in Obambam's plan....drive us into submission....and he will run for the next term....you watch, they are getting rid of the 2 year presidential term limits, it's been introduced as a bill already....HE WASN'T EVEN BORN IN THE U.S.A.!!!  PROVEN FACT!!!  HE NEEDS TO BE IMPEACHED AND WE NEED TO DO IT AND GET OFF OUR THUMBS!!!
Sounds like the rich bastardly republicants. have found a way to screw the common worker's again. to pay insurance all they do is to increase the cost of there food. which they will do anyway.
Jan 10, 2013 1:06PM
i'll bet that most of these people that are gonna get less hours and less of a pay check voted for this POS obumba. he's different, he's cool, he's change. next time educate yourself BEFORE you cast your vote! you reap what you sow.
Jan 10, 2013 1:02PM
This is what you get when you have greedy employers! My husbands company cut coverage plans so the cost of healthcare is paid for off the backs off loyal employees rather than cut into their pockets and profits. Companys need to learn that unhappy, unhealthy employees arent giving their best. Employees who feel part of a team, who know their company has their back are gonna produce! Get real people corporate profits are skyrocketing they can afford to obsorb some insurance costs.Fight back people corporations would have nothing without people you have the power use it.
Jan 10, 2013 12:58PM

Well, no more Wendy's for me! Never did have a Papa John's pizza, but have been a Wendy's customer for quite a while. Geez, the more fast food chains that cut back on their employees hours, the

healthier I'll eat.  Win, win!

The president has not got power over everyone like a dictator or a king, so the next time the retarded black robin hood tells people that he will force others to give them something for free, consider whether or not there is a way for the person or entity being robbed to have any recourse that gets him back his stolen goods ...... as well as dole out punishment that increases his profits, so see it as an abject lesson and learn, repercussions are a M/Fer!
Jan 10, 2013 12:55PM
Employers only have to offer the employees health insurance.  Folks making minimum wage will not be able to afford having money taken out of their checks for insurance premiums.  And then they will be penalized by the government for not having health insurance.  Where is that fair in any way?  The insurance companies will only do what is best for themselves and will raise the deductibles so that the individual will never be able to take advantage of the insurance.  What good is affordable health care if there are no regulations set on the medical insurance complanies regarding limits on what they can charge? All I see are the insurance companies making fortunes on the backs of hard working Americans.  It is the lobbyists that are making sure the government does what they want.  They do not care about you as a person.  All the corporations see is the best way to screw you out of your hard earned money. 
Jan 10, 2013 12:53PM

This guy is a jerk.

Just raise prices a dime or two.

This will lower welfare costs,otherwise the taxpayers pay.

Jan 10, 2013 12:52PM
ask how much does wendys C.E.O. makes? and I bet you he/she or his children do not have to worry about health care. Try cutting his pay.
Jan 10, 2013 12:52PM
Well, well. People are just beginning to realize what this socialist president has on his agenda. Nobody listened when he was making promises of everything free and the the bottom feeders voted him in in one of the most questionable elections we have had. I say let it happen. The cream rises to the top. The hard working people in America will prevail and the lazy handout takers will take the way of the dinosaurs. It's called natural selection.
Jan 10, 2013 12:49PM
Wendy's, one of the major contributers to the big fat health issue of obiesity in America, doesnt want to provide health insurance to the folks it depends upon for making their big fat profit? Go figure?! Well, now if everyone boycotts Papa and Wendy, maybe some waistlines, along with some bottom lines can get reduced, and the nation can just continue on without any health insurance coverage... oh yeah, that would just be business as usual!
Jan 10, 2013 12:44PM
With people such as Rigos kissing up to Obama at the same time he's cutting workers hours we won't be able to support the first part of this huge piece of socialist crap.  I don't know why the US voters keep putting more of these anti-Americans in office.
Jan 10, 2013 12:32PM
"Papa John's 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."

In 2011 Papa John's net income was slightly over $55 million. Having to fork out $8 million to provide healthcare coverage for all of their employees would only leave them $47 million a year in profits, which would be devastating to the point that CEO John Schnatter might have to take a pay cut from his almost $3 million a year to $2 million a year...how in the world will he ever survive on that? He might even be forced to sell some of his stock in the company valued at almost $240 million. Dang, just with his stock alone he could cover every Papa John's employee for 30 years.

Folks, all of their rhetoric stems from greed, not job creation. I hear it from a CEO that I sit next to in the boardroom. They want to keep excessive profits and let average Americans foot the bill for uninsured hospital visits in the form of higher taxes and increased medical expenses for all. If we allow employers to not cover their employees, that is basically a bailout for them. Think about it.
No one owes anyone else anything, yet after very few are forced to provide for the many, then they are told that they are greedy by those who never gave to anyone!
Jan 10, 2013 12:26PM
News flash!!! Obama lies through his teeth,,, so much for not taxing or impacting the middle class... My first paycheck this year took a major hit, and I'm lower middle class...
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