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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Jan 9, 2013 11:01PM
I think this would be categorized as one of those "unintended" consequences.  Guess what, this is only the beginning.  If the government continues to heap layer upon layer of costs/taxes/fees/etc on businesses, it will achieve its ultimnate goal - nationalization of various industries.  Then, you will be able to have your $50 burger as long as it is the way that they serve it to you - not the way you want it.  It called a "planned" economy. 
Jan 9, 2013 10:56PM

It's a damn shame we and our families don't recieve healthcare thru our government, hell the employer pays medical, the worker pays medical, workers and employers are taxed for medical where in the hell is all the freakin money going..billons of dollars paid into the medical system by workers and employers and you're still stuck with co-pays and pharmecutical bills, while all the criminals in our medical system are getting rich and treating our own people like ****, our medical system sucks and so does all the decision makers in the process makes me ashamed of our AMERICAN system what a bunch of BASTARDS.

Jan 9, 2013 10:53PM
Jan 9, 2013 10:51PM

How dare they suggest that wait staff get health care!.  Who are their swerving staff to think that their kids should be able to go to the doctor.  If they get hurt or sick just fire them and hire in the next person.

Congratulations to Wendy's.  Wendy's must have read the Sinclair's book The Jungle and found the light of truth.

Jan 9, 2013 10:50PM
I'm not trying to be ugly here but I'm not sure how many people who work at a fast food place are planing on making a career of it.  Most are working part time while going too school.  Most of the fast food places here do not keep the same employees more than a few months to maybe a year.  Managers or Supervisiors maybe and maybe some stay long enough to move up, but then what are the odds of getting promoted!  A 40 year old manager maybe there for twenty-five to thirty years who wants to cook or serve food for 30 years on a chance to move up?  How many will want to transfer too another city. We only have 2 Mcdonalds, and 2 Subways so everthing else is pretty much the only one in town such that it is.  Also mostly young people in high school or college work these jobs.
Jan 9, 2013 10:37PM
It's not that these company's can't afford insurance for their employees, it's that they don't want to let go of any of  their money. 
Jan 9, 2013 10:36PM

Forcing employers to reduce the number of hours worked per employee is the Democrat's way of reducing unemployment to lower than zero. If an employer has 100 employees, who each work 40 hours per week, and this new law forces the employer to reduce the employees' weekly hours worked to 27 hours, theoretically, the employer will cut 13 hours per employee, or 1,300 hours, from his weekly payroll. To get the same amount of work done, the employer will, theoretically, have to hire 1,300 hours divided by 27 hours per man hired, which means the employer will have to hire more than 48 new employees; this means that every employer, who follows this scenario will have to increase the number of men working for him by 48%, which will result in massive labor shortages in the United States, a huge demand for employees, everywhere, and much more than full employment. Employees will find they can get a 27-hour work week anywhere in the USA, which will result in a huge increase in the demand for labor in the USA, massive wage increases for all workers, and corresponding wage and price inflation, which will increase the amount of taxes paid to governments.

Democrats benefit by helping their labor union sponsors strike for higher wages, by making the number of workers scarce. They also get more taxes to bribe more Americans to vote for Democrats to public offices with high-paying pretend-work jobs in what they call social programs, and more money to hire government workers, who mainly vote for Democrats, which increases the Democrat's control over government. Democrats want to bring more Latinos into the USA, because 75% of Latinos vote for Democrats, not because Democrats care about anything but increasing their political power. Democrats pay labor union members and other Democrat supporters with more money for less work, than they take back all the money they pay, and much more, by charging every American higher taxes.

 A few months after the insurance law called Obamacare goes into effect, the labor market and unemployment will shrink to zero, and the labor unions and Democrats will take credit for eliminating unemployment and the recession, however, they will try to blame the massive price inflation Americans will have to pay on someone else, probably some other political party, or on the banks, as they did when the Democrats passed and enforced the law called The Urban Renewal Act of 1977, which caused the massive increases in prices in the housing market that caused the recession they will now pretend to fix. Look it up on the Internet, under Obama and housing bubble. Send copies of this to all your friends, who are not Democrats, because Democrats know what they did, already.

Jan 9, 2013 10:31PM
Yes the Obamabots are just that, LOSERS! They think they won something because that is what the Obammy media has  told them. I say lets all kick their butts and move on to save our great country. hell knows they won't!
Jan 9, 2013 10:25PM
FU Obamabots! Each and every last one of you losers!
Jan 9, 2013 10:24PM
To Cee Cee, I would cut some more so that I could make 53 million!
Jan 9, 2013 10:23PM
Now we did NOT have any kind of health care in fast foods.  And it proved costly for those that couldn't afford medical.  They spread whatever they had, they were sick longer and they got crabby!  Not to mention, they made customers sick also!  Luckily I was married to a Union man and had health care!  I have had jobs as a single mom without health care and almost died THREE times cause I couldn't afford a doctors office call!  I couldn't afford prescriptions.  I was usually taken to the hospital by ambulance from work or from wherever I was, due to lack of a paying job!  Low pay does not afford medical. I had 2 kids I had to keep healthy so I came last.  You selfish ****s are unbelievable.  I have had healthcare now for many years and I would NOT deny any human medical coverage!  If it isn't taken care of quickly, you end up with HUGE medical bills or hospital bills.  And not once did I get welfare, food stamps or help of any kind including child support.  Try walking in someone else shoes before you show such hateful ignorance!
Jan 9, 2013 10:17PM

Goodness me that would cut your profits to 52 million a year! Whatever would you do?


Jan 9, 2013 10:15PM

It is costly to have many employees.  If you had a regular crew, made them happy and they showed up for their shifts, you'd SAVE money.  You cheap ****'s want to put kids out there for little pay and have a bunch of them. I ran a fast food so I know what I am talking about!  If you cut your staff to those you need and employee full time, YOU WOULD SAVE MONEY.  And come tax time, you'd save money on you bookkeeper, your paperwork etc.  Who do you think you are bsing?  Obviously this is a poorly run fast food place.  Because of this, I have boycotted ALL Windy's!  I don't like being lied to and I don't like all this crap you people make up to discredit Obamacare.  I have stopped going to all these places, Red Lobster, Garden, Windy's, Applebys and the list goes on.  Maybe you can lie to the common person that has never worked in fast foods, but you can't lie to the many of us that have run these places.

Learn how to run a business!  And let me tell you, the first and most important place to start is to keep your employees happy and content.  If you don't, they show it to customers that won't return!  This means good treatment, good pay, kind benefit and showing you care!  And no, I don't mean smile when they don't show up for a shift or don't scold them if they screwed up.  But scold with a kind purpose.  They are doing YOU a favor, you aren't doing crap for them unless you show it to them!

Jan 9, 2013 10:09PM
With the death knell of full time labor FOR UNSKILLED WORKERS, (us skilled worker "gon' B' a' ight) so goes the small chances that you had to succeed, to rise up, less and less taxes paid, less and less handout money available, unemployment running out, tick, tick, tick the weeks that the nation can barley now afford ................. but you did the honorable thing, you donated your and your children's future for the sake of making the wealthy pay for the healthcare of those that the system would better off dying young, ................ and then they added that cost to all of the goods in the land, and you cried and got the min. wage bumped A QUARTER PER HOUR, and then they added that to your costs of goods and another 10% to simply make themselves richer, so you could afford even less goods and services, BUT the street weasel who refuses to even acknowledge his own health, NOW HAS FREE HEALTHCARE, and those rich bastards GOT EVEN RICHER as your prospects sunk deeper and you dreamed of the day when the RETARDED BLACK MESSIAH would come to the rescue .............. forcing the rich to continue the hyper inflation that will be your epitaph! ...... FELICE NAVIDAD, M/Fers! ................. LOLOL
Jan 9, 2013 10:08PM

Welcome to the vision of his father. Welcome to retribution. Welcome to the third world, the new Kenya. Remember what he said to his constituents days before the election, VOTE FOR REVENGE! 

Jan 9, 2013 10:07PM

Good for all of the business owners that are working to get around this idiotic program. Most of your employees voted for Obama, hoping to get a bigger piece of the pie at other's expense. Now they get to learn a lesson about the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Jan 9, 2013 10:04PM
How bout MR Obama fork out his 15 million he has in the bank
Jan 9, 2013 9:58PM
Jan 9, 2013 9:57PM
Well, America you're gonna get what you voted for, not at a business expense, it's all gonna fall on the America peoples shoulders.  I hope they can pay for their healthcare and living expenses on 60 hrs every 2 wks.  Americas are complete idiots.  And you can boycott all you want because every business will be doing this now. Remember, elections have consequences. LOL, this is to funny!
Jan 9, 2013 9:57PM
There will be no more 80 hr work weeks.........Remember "Change is coming!"
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