With less than nine months to go before companies start complying with the employer responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act, chain restaurants around the nation continue hatching schemes to dodge the law’s requirements by keeping their employees from working full-time hours (30 hours per week). A number of franchised big-name restaurants have followed this course, saying they will cap employee hours to duck the cost of providing health plans to their workers.
The law requires employers with more than 50 full-time workers (people averaging at least 30 hours per week) to offer health care benefits. Employers that don’t provide health plans to full-time staffers must pay a $2,000 penalty. The fines are designed to compensate the taxpayers for subsidizing the workers’ purchase of a private health plan through the Obamacare health insurance exchange.
But businesses have no responsibility to insure part-time workers. Those workers will be able to get affordable coverage in the state health insurance exchange or, depending on family income, be entitled to enroll in the state’s expanded Medicaid program.
Most of the restaurants averse to the Affordable Care Act have changed their plans after strongly negative public reactions. Now we’ll see whether the latest Obamacare-dodgers will come to the same sensible decision and reverse course – before the public decides to take its dining dollars elsewhere.