Businesses Cut Full-time Workers Because of ObamaCare

By:  Brian Koenig
08/22/2013
       
Businesses Cut Full-time Workers Because of ObamaCare

Concerns about President Obama’s Affordable Care Act continue to grow, as more companies are implementing “loopholes” to avoid costly provisions of the law.

One company now under the spotlight is popular clothing company Forever 21, which is cutting non-management employees’ hours to just under the 30-hour minimum in which ObamaCare deems as “full-time” work.

“Companywide, Forever 21 recently audited its staffing levels, staffing needs and payroll in conjunction with reviewing its overall operating budget,” reads a leaked memo by Forever 21’s Associate Director of Human Resources. “As a result, we are reducing a number of full-time non-management positions. This includes full-time Stock Associates, Sales Associates, Store Maintenance Associates, Accessory Specialists and Cashiers.”

If enrolled in any of the company’s medical, dental, vision, or other health-benefit plans, the memo continues, coverage for employees who received the letter will end effective August 31. Moreover, they will be reduced to a work schedule not exceeding 29.5 hours per week, dipping below the 30-hour minimum that ObamaCare mandates for mid- and large-sized businesses to provide health benefits.

Many are protesting Forever 21’s shift to part-time hours, as critics post disparaging messages on the company’s Facebook page and rebuke the company on other social mediums. Other observers underscore the practical business reasons for the move — including the pricing impact on consumers — while noting the burdens of Obama’s landmark healthcare law. Maggie O’Neill of PolicyMic.com explains:

Although the ethical nature of Forever 21’s decision is debatable, it is both rational and understandable. A company that boasts regularly low prices and frequent, sensational sales, Forever 21's competitive success is largely dependent upon its ability to maintain low manufacturing and operational costs. The ACA is an undeniable burden on this principle, and Forever 21’s management has the prerogative to take any legal measures necessary to avoid raising the costs of its products.

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