Wendy’s, Taco Bell franchises are latest to cut employee hours, blaming Obamacare — MSNBC
Two more fast food franchises are cutting worker hours in order to avoid paying for Obamacare-mandated employee health care.
According to local Nebraska NBC affiliate WOWT, around 100 Wendy’s employees in the Omaha area are going to see their hours reduced to 28 hours a week, meaning they will no longer qualify for the health care benefits which Obamacare mandates for full-time employees. A Taco Bell in Guthrie, Oklahoma has reportedly adopted a similar policy.
Other restaurant chains have tried to dodge Obamacare costs, with mixed results. After a Florida Denny’s franchise added a 5% “Obamacare surcharge” to customers’ checks, the CEO of Denny’s publicly reprimanded the franchise’s owner. Darden Restaurants—the owner of Olive Garden and Red Lobster—is evidently still going forward with its own experiment in reducing Obamacare costs, though the company was forced to “clarify” its position following a public backlash and subsequent drop in earnings.
It remains to be seen whether a similar fate will befall Nebraska Wendy’s restaurants. What is known is that the industry-wide shift to part-time labor has very little to do with the Affordable Care Act, and is likely to proceed apace regardless of developments in the nation’s health care infrastructure.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that about half of all fast food employees already work part-time, and that the number of Americans forced into involuntary part-time labor has been increasing since 2006 [PDF].
The trend precedes Obamacare by a few years, and the cost of the legislation to large businesses is in fact rather negligible—4.3%, according to the Urban Institute [PDF]. Meanwhile, fast food work is still the lowest-paying occupation in America, even as the profits of major fast food companies have increased since the 2008 financial collapse.
I hope people in those areas can find jobs at other QSRs where the franchisees are not so selfish and cruel.
Those owners should be fearful of Judgment Day if they're religious.
Franchise owners are often times blowhards. They are usually unintelligent, opinionated bigots too.
They should just shut down operations completely. It would be the best contribution they could possibly make to public health overall.
Its such bullshit. The law only applies to business with 50 or more employees, right? Does anyone believe a Taco Bell has more than 50 people on their payroll?
Boycott them. It is class war.
I never thought Taco Bell was such an evil empire. This disappoints me.
I always knew Wendys was an evil empire.
Franchises people, not corporate office, and this kind of publicity will cause problems with the franchises agreements.
Half assed legislation that gives the wealthy options for avoiding being affected will always result in the wealthy opting out of financially doing the right thing.
"Does anyone believe a Taco Bell has more than 50 people on their payroll?"
If you are a franshise owner with more than one store, then that is entirely possible.
R1, small business owners are "selfish and cruel"? Come on, a BUSINESS is neither a NON-PROFIT nor a CHARITY. What did you think would happen, that business owners would willingly cut their profits and increase their expenses in order to spare the jobs of their employees?
Well then I guess other food establishments are going to take their place- no one will work for them. And will they be missed? Of course not.
Every franchise outlet with over 50 employees will do the same.
[quote]Well then I guess other food establishments are going to take their place- no one will work for them. And will they be missed? Of course not.
And you might find small-time operators filling the void.
What a concept.
The Voice of the Night
Businesses have been screwing people out of health care for decades. This is the new "excuse". If the USA would just get a real healthcare system in place, like the one our elected officials enjoy....
The less satisfied the employees the less satisfying the experience for customers. This will all take care of itself in the marketplace and the good guys will eventually win.
C'mon Charlie/R10. Thought you were smarter than that. Where you gonna eat now? A mom and pop shop? They don't pay health benefits either and never have. In addition, many pay in cash which means there is no SS contribution and no earnings history if you ever want credit. But yeah, blindly give your business to other restaurant owners who are doing the EXACT same thing---they're just too smart to announce it publicly.
It's way past time we took the huge burden of health benefits off the backs of employers. It doesn't belong with them, the same way all other public service responsibilities don't (police, military, education, etc.).
It's not having any impact, R14. Most restaurants have operated successfully this way for years. It's nothing new.
Obamacare is also putting a halt to business growth. Many small business franchisees are holding off on expansion to avoid paying for healthcare. As long as they stay under 50 full time employees they are not mandated to provide benefits.
But some businesses can be run with just a management staff that is full time while everyone else is part time. So, if you have 15 units of a national chain (let's say Dunkin Donuts), each with a full time manager and two assistant managers, you will still be under the radar. You could have a pretty big 'small' business with as many as 200 employees, but only 45 are full time so you still don't have to pay for benefits.
But this is good. Because less hours mean more workers. That way more people will have jobs. And medicaid will pay for their insurance.
We need a law that 80% of all employees in any business must be full time workers. And yes, that includes charities, religious organizations, and other do-good businesses.
I suppose these owners find it satisfying to say Obama is hurting workers unlike the magnanimous owner. But it seems they are also loudly announcing, "If you thought our service was bad before, wait until you see how bad it gets when we publicly treat our workers like shit"
How are these announcements good for business?
[quote]Its such bullshit. The law only applies to business with 50 or more employees, right?
I believe it's over 25 employees.
And of course, the irony is that such toxic, cancerous food is making people so sick that they'll need healthcare more than ever.
All this healthcare reform did was give more power/money to the insurance agencies. Many people still can not afford to pay 700/month for coverage. PERIOD.
There are also a lot of things within the bill that the insurance companies aren't sure how to implement them yet, so they have deferred them. There are too many problems with this bill. It really is dangerous and needs to be repealed. Do you honestly think those insurance agencies are going to lose money? HELL NO. Mark my words, this will be a disaster of epic proportions.
R15- I'm with you- definitely universal health care coverage is the end game. But business in the meantime that do not offer their employees health care will lose out to those who can for obvious reasons. And is that an all together bad thing? I DO know businesses with less than 20 employees that offer their employees health care.
These franchises are hell to work for and produce crap anyway- so I for one will not miss them. The slack will be picked up by larger establishments and those who CAN offer them health care- these will be better run businesses essentially with a better (food) product. Be kind of ironic that junk food franchises that are helping American stay nice and fat, get their tails spanked by not offering healthcare to employees.
These companies rarely offer full time to begin with.
[quote]It's way past time we took the huge burden of health benefits off the backs of employers.
Lets not stop there. How about the burden of payroll? Do you know what paying workers for their time costs businesses every year? The idea that an employer should pay someone what they earned, be it a paycheck or a health benefits, is a Marxist plot.
Time to destroy those Franchises. Boycott. Smear. Harass.
Exactly, R25. All this hand wringing for nothing. They never have offered benefits and now they still won't. Nothing will change. The working poor will still have no coverage and businesses will continue to thrive and grow, like they always have. Obamacare solved nothing for the people who really need health benefits.
R26, you are an idiot. Employers don't pay your mortgage, find you car insurance, or give you with a sack of groceries on payday. They pay you a wage so you can buy these things yourself. How is healthcare any different? The only reason employers pay it at all now is due to a bad habit that started during WW2, when there were caps placed on wages so employers facing labor shortages had to find incentives to get people to work for them. That model no longer exists. There are 5 applicants for every job and healthcare costs are 1000x what they were in the 1950's. Employer provided healthcare is not sustainable. It's a dinosaur.
"The law only applies to business with 50 or more employees, right?"
"I believe it's over 25 employees."
The US lets all these crappy companies get their way every time! what is their problem?Is Ombama care really that bad.
Do people really eat at these places?
Bet none of you think twice about giving your money to the local "artisan" bakeries or the mafia run Italian bistros in your towns. You probably pat yourselves on the back for supporting "local" businesses. LMAO. None of those owners pay any taxes OR benefits to their employees.
R28 health benefits are earned. If you have not figured that out, well I can only guess you have the sort of job where the employers really dont value their workers and treat them like shit because your low skill job can be easily filled by some other loser.
Wouldn't you rather "earn" a higher salary and buy your own benefits, R34? Does your employer wipe your ass for you too?
And if you couldn't figure out by now that I am a business owner, well....
[quote]Wouldn't you rather "earn" a higher salary and buy your own benefits
What makes you think that isnt what I am doing? And if that was true, it only goes further to demonstrate health insurance is something that is earned in exchange for work.
And no, I dont for a second believe you are a business owner. That you set yourself up with that last post tells me you are too stupid to own a business. Seriously, you walked right into that one.
Here you go, R32:
Do I have to provide health insurance to my employees?
The law does not require employers to provide health insurance.
Starting in 2014, large businesses (those with 50 or more full-time workers) that do not provide adequate health insurance will be required to pay an assessment if their employees receive premium tax credits to buy their own insurance.
R36, I'm so excited to inform you that we've added a new benefit feature to your compensation package. You'll be happy to know that in lieu of a raise year, you will receive a 12 month supply of Cheetos. Isn't that wonderful? We really take care of our employees.
No thanks are necessary. You've EARNED it!
One of the problems is in this economy, these businesses can get away with this just because there are so few opportunities out there right now.
I was out of work for almost 2 years after the company I worked for went through a merger and shed thousands of people.
I got a job in March. I love the job. The pay is horrible and so is my health insurance. We have a 3k deductable every year which means pretty much nothing is covered unless it's major and there's also a pre-existing condition clause. A summer with kidney stones cost me over 7k since I had the problem in the past.
I'm also paying $75 every 2 weeks for this crappy insurance.
In the past, I would have turned this job down, but I didn't really have an option. I'm glad to have a job.
If R35 is a business owner, then I have a bridge for sale in Brooklyn.
It' has been working quite well for us.
This lets me know not to do business with Wendy's and Taco Bell.
Any more to add would appreciated. Thanks to numerous posters @ Datalounge who present these reports.
They don't care if you don't eat there. They serve millions of people every week and the overwhelming majority of those customers do not make buying decisions based on politics.
This means more jobs for others at these restaurants. As a "capital strike," it is ill-conceived.
People work full time at hese places? I figured it was just high school kids earning some extra bucks.
[quote]This lets me know not to do business with Wendy's and Taco Bell.
I'm always left out of these things. Businesses that operate this way are invariably places I'm already not buying things at because they have such shitty products or services.
It's not an economic decision, it's a political one. The management of both of those chains are renowned for the conservative politics.
It can only be political because the franchises are definitely not affected. They virtually just hire part time anyway. Not only that, but the surcharge for not ptoviding insurance is under $100 per for a full time employee.
In the meantime I'm not eating at any of these places (not sure I would anyway).
r42, if you stop doing business with Wendy's and Taco Bell you'll be hurting employees who may lose their jobs.
R49 That was the same exact thing racists who supported Apartheid used to say.
These companies will get over it when they discover no one really wants to work at those shit jobs. You can only push so far.
More batshittery from the deluded Republicans.
Did they learn nothing from the huge drops in business suffered by Papa John's and Olive Garden, et al?
Are the managers/executives at these companies THAT stupid, delusional, clueless, and out of touch??
I hope their employees quit en-mass and they have a hard time finding replacements, and their customers choose to go elsewhere, and they suffer horrible losses for their stupidity.
Please, make it happen.
Now add "Five Guys" Burgers to this list...
Maybe if they didn't slop their food together and it didn't taste like shit like it has for the last 15 years, they might get more customers to make up for it.
You guys understand what a franchise is, right?
r53 said "Did they learn nothing from the huge drops in business suffered by Papa John's and Olive Garden, et al?"
Please provide P&Ls for both companies, 53, otherwise we'll know you function on wishful thinking.
r23, as for insurance companies benefiting under the new health care program, AARP championed ObamaCare to fill their coffers. With changes in Medicare Advantage, AARP will make billions selling policies.
Franchise businesses aren't big economic hubs, they are little businesses run by little people that think they are "big business owners".
Blowhards is an accurate description.
Besides, most of what these franchises sell are horrible for people's health anyway.