Will Your Hours Get Cut? Will Your Job?
With the reelection of President Barack Hussein Obama, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is ensured to be around for a while. But there are business owners that are recoiling at the extra cost it will bring. Beginning in 2014, Obamacare requires businesses or franchises with more than 50 workers to offer healthcare coverage to their employees or pay a penalty of up to $3,000 for each full-time worker over 30 workers. This is what is called the Employer Mandate and it is all over the news. One method businesses are considering in order to avoid this crippling mandate is to cut the size of their staff and switch full-time employees to part-time, which means less than 30 hours a week said CNNMoney.
One of the big names in the list of businesses that are already preparing for the mandate to kick in is Darden Restaurants Inc., operator of chains such as Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse. They are experimenting with limiting their employees to 28 hours a week, thus exempting them from the mandate and the associated fines. Papa John’s, Applebee’s and Denny’s publically stated that they were considering taking a similar approach to dealing with the devastating effects of the impending mandate, But then rolled back on their position due to a flurry of negative media coverage.
These proposed cuts to employee’s hours are not inclusive to just the food service industry; this mandate will affect every business that employs 50 people or more. Cedar Falls, IA city government, in a KWWL report, states: “It means 59 permanent part-time employees who now work 32 hours a week will be scheduled for 29 hours per week starting Dec. 1.” “Those workers have jobs in the public works and parks departments as well as at the public library.” “Most of those workers are seasonal workers.” City officials say they were advised by their health care provider to make the changes now because there will be a look-back period once the law goes into effect. In an Inside Higher Ed article by Colleen Flaherty, the Community College of Allegheny County will cut course loads and hours for some 200 adjunct faculty members and 200 additional employees to avoid paying $6 million in Affordable Care Act-related fees in January 2014.
You can be assured that you will continue to hear about business making cuts in hours and restructuring employee schedules in an attempt to avoid these business killing mandates. How will you be affected if you are all of a sudden told by your employer that your hours have been reduced to 29 hours a week? Will you have to go find another part-time job to make up the loss income?
If you work for a company that has more than 50 employees, you would be well served to talk to your manager, or someone in the know, and try to find out what if any changes have been discussed concerning the looming Obamacare Employee Mandates. Companies will have to make decisions on what course of action to take, there is no choice, they have to comply.