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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1991Comments
Jan 9, 2013 5:36PM
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What this means is that hourly employee will need to have two 20 hours/week jobs in order to survive, and they still will NOT have healthcare benefits.

 

This isn't new anywhere else in the world, just in the U.S.A.  It's been common in the biggest cities in Europe and South America for decades, for the "working poor" to have, (at least), two jobs.  Now the practice is coming to America.

Jan 9, 2013 5:36PM
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Dear people of America, If you dont like it then get the f#@k out. Get over your selves. Everyone deserves healthcare. Everyone that is legal that is. I didnt vote for obama, but hes a better pick then any republican!
Jan 9, 2013 5:35PM
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And all the Demoflats that put this Obammy back in office kept telling us,via the media, that this won't happen. This is just a republican scare tactic. Well, how does it fell now, can ya feel it, can ya, can ya! OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH take it with some vaseline, by the way this is just the beginning, in a couple years the Demoflats will be trying to pitch fork this guy out of office, all the while saying it was Bush's fault. Reap what you sow! HAHAHAHAHAHA! I am retired and well off, very well off, so I can sit back and laugh at ya bunch of idiot Demoflats!
Jan 9, 2013 5:34PM
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I am glad to hear about this because it is the last time I will ever eat at Wendys.

 

Jan 9, 2013 5:34PM
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 PAPAJOE FROSTY WHATEVER ONEFUNGI PUT YOU ALL TOGETHER  AND COULDNT RUN A LEMONADE STAND.  YOU MUST TRY AND REMEMBER  EVEN THOUGH I KNOW ITS HARD BUT YOU RACIST T PARTY CLOWNS LOST  I REPEAT LOST THE ELECTION SO SUCK IT UP PUT DOWN THE KKK MANUALS AND MOVE ON!!!!!!!!!!!
Jan 9, 2013 5:34PM
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WHATS BETTER IS TO EAT  WENDY,S      THEN YOU WILL NEED HEATH CARE
Jan 9, 2013 5:33PM
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meanwhie the CEO can make $4.6 million in 4 months!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Come on America we are subsidizing CEO salary pay by making Doctors give free treatment in the emergency room and putting people who want to work on food stamps and medicaid when they are already working but their job does not pay enough for anything but gas to and from work!
Jan 9, 2013 5:33PM
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And just think ... Less hours .. less money ... can't afford your own insurance ... and your company won't have to pay ... means that you will be fined for not having insurance. Isn't obama care wonderful. Oh!  And don't forget there is a $63.00 added charge  to help pay for the obama care for each person. Isn't life wonderful!  There is also a clause for Amish and Muslim .... they don't have to pay for insurance but will still be covered by it. It just keeps getting better!
Jan 9, 2013 5:33PM
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Ok let me just say this. Nothing IS FREE! Idiots that believed otherwise...are exactly what i said. IDIOTS. Secondly...everyone is blaming Obama for this. You do realize that you have been paying for healthcare for the majority already in your taxes with Medicare. YOU PEOPLE DO REALIZE THIS RIGHT? So now hes requiring companies to pay a little more so that they can provide it to their employees. I dont see how this is a bad thing? Shouldnt we all be entitled to some protection? Even if the protection itself is garbage as most health insurance companies dont assist that much anyways. The problem with this society is ourselves. YOU people that dont petition and rally and speak for change just let law makers and the government run you as they see fit. At the end of the day you can cry and whine as much as you want but the solution and the problem lies in image you see when you look in the mirror. Grow up and quit complaining and do something about it. 
Jan 9, 2013 5:33PM
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Cutting hours to avoid costs and claiming employees as private contractors to avoid workers comp and unemployment insurance has been going on for a long time.Workers should quit or organize and picket the greedy bastards till they find an employer with some morals.
Jan 9, 2013 5:33PM
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I think the multibillion dollar fast food companies should have to pay more. They get by on teens hard work for low pay. Don't fall for the rich mans crumbs like mice that's how they stay rich. I try not to eat fast food if I can, I feel big box stores and fast food chains treat their workers like slaves. They have lots of money to go around for everybody who works for them but no one makes them pay so why should they?

Jan 9, 2013 5:32PM
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Heaven forbid the rich bastard will have to spend a little more money for his employees.  Another romney lackey.  I hope his stores lose all kinds of business. 
Jan 9, 2013 5:32PM
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DO YOU KNOW  THE DEFICIT  CREATED BY PRESIDENT BUSH VERSUS THE DEFICIT CREATED BY PRESIDENT OBAMA?  Probably not....check it out and then come back and tell us about runaway spending.  Read and become Informed!!!!!!!!!
Jan 9, 2013 5:32PM
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So many people want to blame Obama. Imagine a rock rolling down a steep **** hill, then trying to get it to stop. Thats what Obama is doing. Bush had us rolling fast & Obama isnt going to be able to push us back to the top in a matter of months. & To anyone who favored Romney, I guess a rich white business guys is just what we needed right?? Romney is one of those men who is just out for the dollar, he buys businesses, guts them out & collects! Id rather have someone who is trying for the average american blue collar family, as my presidant any day..
Jan 9, 2013 5:31PM
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Today I got a letter from United Healthcare … they’re telling me to change my son’s asthma medicine to another brand because of the price. I guess under our new “health care system” insurance companies now have the right to make decisions about what's best for us? That’s really too bad … because what’s best for us is really something that’s between you and your doctor.

Jan 9, 2013 5:31PM
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like the post on all the people who voted for this joke president should foot the bill and us 49% who didn't should get a waver, we didnt vote for this joke why we need to pay for his mistakes and lies

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i can not understand the narrow minded thinking? Every one needs health care. Papa John 14 cents more for a pizza will not make a difference to the average customer..  if i buy your pizza it is because i like it. All the other pizza places will be providing medical for  their help and will have to pass on the cost. which levels the playing field. What would you do if the price of cheese went up? This is no different.  Oh well you can cut hours and let the taxpayer pay your help with food stamps, medical, and public assistance. Oh i forgot you are a taxpayer too.

 

Jan 9, 2013 5:29PM
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Way to go Obama! I say we need legislation that only mexicans can vote on that will let him serve unlimited terms.
Jan 9, 2013 5:29PM
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Who are we kidding here fast-food chains like McDonalds, Wendys, Papa Johns, and many others have for a long time cut hours back so they won't have to pay insurance costs, over time, and many other benefits offered to fulltime employees.   Now they pass it off because of Obamacare when in fact its been a general practice for years of cutting hours to below fulltime and denying benefits.
Jan 9, 2013 5:29PM
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The White House is full of morons who Know nothing about running a business. Which is obvious in the way they run our country.  Treason!!!
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