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

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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 SayAnythingBlog.com. 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. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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