Affordable Care Act: Employers reduce hours of staff | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Affordable Care Act: Employers reduce hours of staff

Posted: November 13, 2012 - 5:24pm

Actions have consequences. With the Affordable Care Act in play and not likely to be repealed, many businesses are facing the reality that they have to save money in order to afford the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

One solution has been a trimming of staff. Yes, that’s correct, layoff notices have gone out by some of the nation’s largest employers, making a bad economy for those looking for employment even worse. Others are cutting employee hours. Obamacare’s stipulation that companies provide coverage for all employees working more than 30 hours in a week has caused some companies to cut back on the number of hours employees work.

“Not only will this mandate prevent job growth among small businesses, it will also result in fewer hours and less income for workers at larger companies. These are people struggling to make ends meet on limited income — people who cannot afford to lose these hours,” according to Investor’s Business Daily.

How does this impact the Brainerd lakes area?

Darden Restaurants, the world’s largest restaurant company announced that it plans to cut back on many of its employee work hours. Darden Restaurant employs 185,000 people at its Olive Garden and other chain restaurants.

Olive Garden just opened its Baxter facility in October offering employment to scores of area residents.

National grocery chains will probably follow Kroger’s lead in offering only part-time workers and 28 hours a week maximum for new hires.

Why has Kroger, one of the nation’s largest grocers, made this change? “Kroger is doing this to avoid paying for full-time health care for employees who currently only receive part-time benefits,” one employee explains. “And (so) they will not get hit with the $3,000 penalty.”

For those who thought the Affordable Care Act was free, think again. For those losing their jobs or having their hours cut back, the price of this health care measure has an extremely high price tag.

Keith Hansen