Restaurant Chain Considering Elimination Of Full Time Jobs To Save On Obamacare Costs


Not only is Obamacare making health care and health insurance more expensive and harder to get, it’s having a negative impact on the job markets as well:

In an experiment apparently aimed at keeping down the cost of health-care reform, Orlando-based Darden Restaurants has stopped offering full-time schedules to many hourly workers in at least a few Olive Gardens, Red Lobsters and LongHorn Steakhouses.

Darden said the test is taking place in “a select number” of restaurants in four markets, including Central Florida, but would not give details. The company said there has been no decision made about expanding it.

In an emailed statement, Darden said staffing changes are “just one of the many things we are evaluating to help us address the cost implications health care reform will have on our business. There are still many unanswered questions regarding the health care regulations and we simply do not have enough information to make any decisions at this time.”

If they do not, the companies can face fines of up to $3,000 for each employee who then turns to an exchange — an online marketplace — for insurance.

The company, which was among those who had received an Obamacare waiver in the past, is looking to limit workers to 28 hours per week. A full time employee that is required to have health insurance (lest the employer pay a fine) works 30 hours per week, as defined by the Obamacare law.

You have to wonder how many other businesses will be cutting back on hours to fall under that threshold.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Thresherman

    Is there a Democrat drawing breath that actually understands the law of unintended consequences?

    • $8194357

      They are the marxist intended consequences and the
      “desired results” are piling up all around the communist Democratic party
      and RINO’s in DC…
      McCarthy was “spot on” mate…

    • VocalYokel

      For Barry-O there are no “unintended consequences” that an Executive Order won’t solve.

  • $8194357

    Can you say “capitalisms deconstruction” boys and girls….
    The “heavy hand” of the federal government on its own people
    instead of to protect us from out side enemies just like Reagan said huh…

    • DIg

      You just prattle on and on and on. Look, I understand you’re angry you got spanked on an international scale, but until people like you are no longer drawing breath, the republicans will continue to decline due to a shortage of idiots who want to hear only what confirms their asshole nature. That foednt draw in quality people. Just you and other double-wide dwellers.

      • $8194357

        Any anger must be yours projected Dig…
        I am not in the least bit angry..
        dissapointed some perhaps.
        You see I understand the world is lost and following
        the deceptions/lies of the little g god of this world..

        You who are “perishing” may want to do some self
        reflections on your ideologies origins and the one world
        facist government that will arise from them…

        What ever name it takes !
        sustainable enviromentalism
        Just to name a few of the top contenders.

        It is the “progressive” who follows these false forms
        of enlightenment and will ultimately recieve in themselves
        their due…
        No anger here at all…
        My citizenship is with Jesus,
        not here in the false Eden with you and yours.


        (you and other double-wide dwellers.)
        nice classic elietism and marxist class warfare rhetoric tho !

      • $8194357

        Prattle prattle “comrade global citizen”..


        Agenda 21 and all of the tenets therein, a United Nations
        doctrine that has been wrecking the sovereignty of the United States for years. The Republican National Committee this month finally decided Agenda 21 has become so damaging to our nation that they adopted a resolution to condemn the doctrine as part of their platform for the 2012 election. This is late in the day, but maybe now America will realize the seriousness of the internal threat Agenda 21 has become.
        Agenda 21 has been referred to as a “Conspiracy Theory” in this newspaper. And there are many Americans who don’t have an understanding of what Agenda 21 is, or why it even matters. The Agenda 21 plan is readily accessible at the UN website for all to read; 40 Chapters of micromanagement for every square inch of
        the planet. There is a good reason Agenda 21 is not widely understood by Americans. Our government has deliberately been implementing it under other names for twenty years and obfuscating the true intent of the doctrine.
        Agenda 21 was first presented as a treaty in Rio in 1991. Pres. George H. Bush signed it. Part of the treaty, a “Biodiversity Treaty,” was presented to our Congress, but thankfully rejected. Not discouraged by a little thing like our representative government, Pres. Bill Clinton cleverly signed an executive order implementing all of Agenda 21, but used one of the major chapter titles, creating the “President’s Council on Sustainable Development.” This action bypassed every check against executive authority when implementing treaties. A President does not have the authority to implement a treaty without ratification by our Senate. Further, actions of the treaty cannot be funded without approval
        from the House of Representatives. Instead, Clinton’s executive order has been funded by every executive agency in our federal government without the approval of the American people. Pres. Obama has accelerated the spending for Agenda 21 and created by executive order the “White House Rural Council” on the same principles to control all rural areas of the country.

  • opinionated

    Not the Darden restaurant chain.. the one that Michelle Obama worked with to force waitresses if it was okay if their kids ordered french fries off the menu… Businesses do what is best for them. Who did not see this train wreck coming

    • $8194357

      Dem’cat useful idiot apoligist, thats who..

  • ‘Tom Crawford

    Obama promised you could keep your medical insurance with Obamacare, he didn’t promise you could keep your job.

  • mikemc1970

    It’s all worth it to the Democrats as long as mooches like Hanni can get it for free. Votes, it’s all about the votes.

  • factsarefacts

    Sometimes we have to hit rock, rock bottom before we can get back up.
    Four more years would do that.
    Maybe, just maybe, the people would finally see.
    We get what we vote for.

  • bigdaddybernie

    I’m guessin’ that Darden has never been to Italy or, even to an Italian restaurant. You never see food like that ! No self respecting Italian would ever eat there . . . . I’m talkin’ food, . . . . NOT healthcare !

  • Davo

    Wow. Darden’s CEO sounds like a real prick. Anything to keep your minimum-wage earning dishwashers from getting medical treatment, though, right?

    • exsanguine

      …or else he could just close up a few stores so that he can afford to do the obamaocare…but that would mean firing a few hundred people.



      • Rudy

        Even that wouldn’t do anything to help because then they are losing the profit those stores brought in. They now have to figure out how to completely revamp their system because their overhead has dramatically changed.

    • jl

      Democrats sound like pricks. Will pass Obamadoesn’tcare to keep minimum-wage earning dishwashers from getting medical treatment.

    • Rudy

      You really don’t understand how a business works do you? If the amount you are paying out is more than the money you bring in then you go out of business. They have to maintain a profit margin in order to keep the doors open and employee anyone at all. I worked at olive garden for almost a year and their insurance plan was a good one. Obamacare raises their overhead… Why am I wasting my time explaining this to you…

      • RiotLibrarian

        If you pay low wages, you get crappy employees. If you don’t let service workers have sick days, you are letting sick people handle food, which is a public health hazard.

        Chick-fil-A is one of the best and most profitable fast food restaurants. Know why? They pay their employees MORE than anyone else. You get what you pay for. You decrease your profits when you decrease the quality of your work force. Labor is a market, too.

        • http://CH19.US/ Mike Tayon

          @MHS that is not entirely correct! I work in LTL trucking, and LTL drivers get paid more than 85% of the Nation, and STILL there are s–t bag employees, it’s not always the money, most times it is the attitude of the employee, I have known min wage workers who gave way more of a fook than higher paid counterparts! :(

  • Random Passerby

    I wonder if this isn’t actually an attempt to further deconstruct our workforce.
    Europe, whose model is much beloved by a very high percentage of the current administration staffers, has a 35 hour standard work week (48 hour max).
    Could this be another attempt to social engineer the U.S. to be more European than Europe?

    • Davo

      No. Europeans who work 35 hours a week have access to healthcare.

      • Random Passerby

        My god! I have been so blind. You are right, blindingly so. We have absolutely no access to health care here. No doctors, nurses, pharmacies or anything of the sort. How could I have missed such a thing? Clearly we should establish county hospitals, and vast networks of specialized low cost emergency care clinics. In addition I propose that we dragoon a few private sector companies into providing pharmacy supprt for the aformentioned idea.
        Additionally, Could you to draft a law that provides for indigent care at emergency rooms? Please have that to me soon, we need to act now to make sure this gets passed – you are certainly more aware of the flaws than I am, and I don’t want to miss anything crucial before I can get this submitted.
        I’m unsure as to what to do if there are calls for emergency assistance though. Do we have trained operators to assist while emergency support in routed, or do we simply have the injured folks try to get to the closest acute care clinic? What is your opinion?
        In order to ensure the masses have all the quality access, we ought to have build massive libraries and stock them with medical texts, and dump a large portion of that onto (facility provided) internet kiosks as well. Don’t want to miss an opportunity.
        Since there all those pharmaceutical firms out there, do you think they may want to generate some good PR by providing some of their supplies to the poor gratis (free) or massively reduced cost? Surely we can convince one or two of them. Your arguments are quite persuasive.
        Thank you again for exposing ignorance and providing me an opportunity to share what I have learned.

        • Davo

          No problem, Random.

          • $8194357

            don’t understand sarcasm much, huh..

          • mikemc1970

            Or politics.

          • $8194357

            Just another useful idiot.

  • SigFan

    And you can pretty much bet that a lot of other service industry employers are watching this closely to see if they should follow suit. Of course if Obamao gets another four years he’ll just issue an executive order closing this loophole in Obamacare, but business people will find another way to get around the heavy-fisted reach of DC. The ones that want to stay in business that is.

  • Harold

    Obama knows how to make a speech if the teleprompter is working, but he doesn’t know how to run a business, never has and never will and america will continue to suffer if he wins in Nov..

  • $8194357

    Ya have to pass it to see whats in it and alot of it won’t kick in
    untill after the election so we can keep more hidden from ya…
    A$$hat Democrats….

  • RCND

    How the hell did we ever get here from there in the first place?

    It used to be long ago that an employer gave you a check in exchange for your efforts. That was the “there” that we were at.

    Some time later, employers saw a need to offer a little more so they could attract and retain good employees. Health insurance became one of the benefits that became popular to offer to do just that.

    Since then, somehow our society has come to see that benefit as an expectation, which Obummer has turned into a mandate. Employers are now sinister evildoers if they dare try to find a way to make this mandated “benefit” more manageable.

    What are the next employee benefits that government will now turn into an entitlement to be born by employers?

  • mickey_moussaoui

    Hospitals around the nation are reducing staff to 32 hour work weeks. Lesser employees are going to 28 hour work weeks. Thank a Democrat for giving you European style labor expectations combined with third world pay structure.

  • RiotLibrarian

    Darden restaurants are such garbage, and it’s largely because of their awful treatment of their employees. How do these people sleep at night, seeing that their own employees can’t access medical care if they are sick? They also don’t give sick days, meaning that they are encouraging ill employees, who can’t go to the doctor, come into work and handle your food. Appetizing, isn’t it?

    Trying to increase profits by screwing your employees is like trying to increase profits by taking a baseball bat to your copy machine. You NEED them. Treat them well. If they started actually treating their employees decently, their food and service might stop being utter crap.

    Meanwhile, if I really want some salty, tasteless, microwaved food, I can make it at home.

    • rudy

      I worked at Olive Garden for almost a year- you have no idea what you are talking about.

      • RiotLibrarian

        My uncle is a DA, and he never eats at Olive Garden since he’s prosecuted the majority of people in their kitchen. They scrape the bottom of the barrel, and most talented people get the hell out of dodge as quickly as possible.

        Also, their food is atrocious, and service middling at best.

      • jj

        and I worked at Red Lobster for 4 years. I agree, he has no idea what he is talking about.

  • Mark Eversberg

    Looks like we are going to get the government we deserve.

  • bob

    Your new full time job will be 20 hours at Red Lobster and 20 hours across the street at Olive Garden.

  • Ben Ghazi

    Merry Christmas to all you Obama voters.

  • Yogibare

    The process toward a “single payer” system has begun and will continue month by month until the goal is reached that Obamacare has set out to do. This election was pretty much the point of no return. We are on the road to a system like Germany; however, we do not have the work ethic and discipline to regulate ourselves.
    How do we pay for it? Good question. Any thoughts out there?

    • Metroman

      Yes, the FED will keep transferring digital money until we have the implosion this has been designed to accomplish. Soon they will confiscate all our gold and silver completing the robbery of 911 and the Middle East ( see 1933 and what the late great FDR did). We will go back on the gold standard again robbing the average person of their remaining wealth.

  • DIg

    Seriously, all the ‘oh look at the cuts’ idiots, businesses fail. Its not new. 28 hours a week is normal to avoid insurance. Its the Walmart method. Why do all of you think Medicare covers more employees than any other insurance company?

  • Joyce

    LLS so every job loss will be link to Obamacare portion of a bill that don’t go into effect until 2014. CTHU really and you people believe them. Its all bs more then half of these cuts are to increase coporate profit margins some are do to poor sales. A lot of these big companies offer healthcare coverage.