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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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.
I am glad to hear about this because it is the last time I will ever eat at Wendys.
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?
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.
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
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.
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