Skip to main content

View Diary: Wendy's franchise cutting worker hours to avoid Obamacare, despite backlash to other chains (149 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  You can't totaly blame the business owner. Given (11+ / 0-)

    two choices they will choose the one that puts more money in their pocket.  They are not being immoral.  The immorality is they are given a choice.  The employees in a business like this are easily replaceable being low skilled.  Cut someone's hours and they leave, there is someone ready to take their place.   Single payer is the solution.  

    Guns don't kill people...people with GUNS kill people.

    by thestructureguy on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:21:23 AM PST

    •  Actually, there are many cases where making (27+ / 0-)

      a choice to put more money in your pocket is immoral, assuming that the choice has a deleterious affect on other people. That's what morality about, and why the capitalist system, as implemented today, in fact encourages people running and working in enterprises to collectively exhibit the behavior of at the very least a sociopath, if not a psychopath, in society.

      Certainly employers who balance employee's needs and profits more equitably are on greater moral standing than those that do not.

      Of course, the best solution is to provide regulations that require ALL employers to operate on the same level of higher morals/ethics. Then, exploiting employees for profit would not be a competitive advantage.

      The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

      by Words In Action on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:42:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know what 'morality' is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hmi, VClib

        I just know what 'the law' is.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:39:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "... the law is a ass -- a idiot." n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Words In Action

          "Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything even remotely true." -- H. Simpson

          by midnight lurker on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:39:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  "morality" is what stops a person from running (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Words In Action

          down and killing the person that just cut them off in traffic even if they could find a legal loophole that would make it perfectly legal to do so.  "morality" is what stops someone from luring you into a dark alley, killing you, throwing down a weapon by your body, and taking all your stuff.  But as you don't recognize the existence of "right" and "wrong", just what the law says at least hopefully the risk of getting caught will be enough to prevent you from doing either of those things.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:22:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sometimes. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sparhawk

            In the cases you describe though it's probably the law that stops many of them (since there likely isn't a legal loophole for the road rage case and, if found and used, it would quickly be legislated away).

            Most people just don't even think of doing these things.

            For example, why would I bother to run down and kill a person that cut me off in traffic? Morality has nothing to do with my decision not to do that -- it just isn't worth my time and trouble. If I did think to do it, morality would then enter into it, but it's never occurred to me to do this.

            (Besides, there are much more fun ways to retaliate if you do bother to catch up with the person - death is so final and just doesn't make a good story. If the person dies, well, they are dead and don't care -- if they end up feeling like a fool, that annoys them for at least a few hours.)

            However, for those that do think of doing these things, I think it's likely law that stops many of them. Some of the remaining ones are stopped by fear of immediate retaliation (street justice) as the victim may be armed, stronger, or more skilled than the psychopathic perpetrator.

        •  We already established that, I think. (0+ / 0-)

          Morality is about how we treat each other. At it's base is the golden rule. That much, everyone pretty much agrees upon, at least in theory. What people do in practice, especially in business, is something else.

          The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

          by Words In Action on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 02:04:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Not sure (9+ / 0-)

      if he would make more money. Having a large work force working only 28h creates a lot of logistical problems

    •  I was reading on another diary the idea of FTE's (17+ / 0-)

      and how the health care bill requires charging 2000 dollars per the equivalent number of hours that would be considered full time.  If you hire more workers at just below full time hours and have to hire more to cover your workload you still pay 2000 per the number of hours that equals full time employment.  You don't gain anything as far as the health care law goes and you have to carry the training of many more employees who will probably leave with greater frequency because of your hiring practices.

      Sounds like a terrible way to handle ones hiring plan.

      •  I doubt they'd consider something like this (5+ / 0-)

        w/o crunching the numbers.  There are consultants out there that are doing nothing but figuring out whether it's more cost effective to drop hours or pay the penalty.

      •  my understanding... (7+ / 0-)

        When this topic was discussed earlier (Denny's, etc., cases), I followed the links to the legislation.

        My understanding is this:

        - Under ACA, it matters whether you are a big employer or not, with a big employer being one with more than 50 FTE employees. An employer with 100 half-time or 200 quarter-time would count as one with 50 FTE.

        - However, the big employer only has to provide the health benefits (or pay the $2000) for employees working full-time, which is defined. (IIRC, it is 30 hours.)

        So an employer with one full-time Big Boss, and maybe some other full-time managers, but no other employees working more than 30 hours a week, would have to give health benefits to the Big Boss and the full-time managers but not to the part-timers. They wouldn't have to pay $2000 per FTE, either.

        But I could be wrong.

      •  Kaiser flow chart (7+ / 0-)

        Kaiser Family Foundation has a flow chart showing how the employer's responsibility for health benefits works.

        Notice that the first factor is: does the employer have at least 50 full-time equivalent employees?

        Then, at the penalties level, the language changes: the employer pays an annual penalty of $2000 times the number of "full time employees" minus 30.

        An employer departs from the category of small businesses that can get health insurance tax credits once it has more than 25 employees.

        But the employer that is big enough to have 50 FTE employees will either have to offer health insurance to full-time employees or face penalties--for each full-time employee, not FTEs. As I read this, if the employer has 100 FTEs, of whom two are full-time workers--one Big Boss, one Big Manager--and the rest are part-timers, then the employer has to provide health insurance to those two full-timers and nobody else.

        •  I think (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Involuntary Exile

          that to avoid penalties, the employer has to offer coverage to all employees, but if he doesn't, you're right - the penalties are only paid based on the number of full time employees.

          Weird language, though. Seems to me the penalties are going to be next to nothing...

          "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

          by La Gitane on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:41:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Penalties, under the IRS Code, are generally (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            La Gitane

            treated as nondeductible.  So there is the multiplier of bad news. Taxpayers annd shareholders don't like shelling out expenses that aren't deductible on the balance sheet.

            And from the FWIF department: Your Rube headed a small office for many years.  Small, as in, two.  But health insurance was always paid for by the company (a/k/a, me). We weren't awash in dough, and it was difficult.  But jeez, isn't this the right thing to do?  These people make me totally crazy.

            •  Good on you (0+ / 0-)

              I don't think it's right to claim you're a success if your employees need assistance to survive. I'd love to have help, and I'm positive that in this climate I could find someone to work for minimum wage, and hell, probably even less. But that person would be worth between $15 and $20 an hour; there is no way that I would ever hire someone for less than I know they're worth, even though it means that I go without the help. Some would say that there's a job that I'm not creating; I say that once you create that job at that crappy wage, it's there to stay. It drags all of us down. You will never make $15/hr if you start at $8. Just won't happen. Not in at least ten years, and ten years is a long time to wait to make what you should've been making ten years prior.

              Does that make me a stupid business person? Perhaps, but at least I can sleep at night.

              "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

              by La Gitane on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:40:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  No Penalty for no Insurance for Part time (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        splashoil, La Gitane, VClib

        There is no penalty for Part Time Employees not getting health insurance for any size of company.

        PPACA has no penalties to employers for not providing Health Insurance to employees who work fewer than 30 Hrs/week, regardless of company size.

        See the text of the law at Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

        Look at second half of page 155 of document (the 174th PDF page)

        PPACA has different policies for businesses with 51 or more Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employees, than for smaller businesses.  The hours of part time employees are included with full time employees in this determination.  So a business with, for example 100 employees who all work 28 hours a week will be classified as a "large business" as it will have greater than 51 FTE employees although it has no full time employees.  The text for this calculation is in the section I referenced in PPACA pages preceeding page 155.

        However, the rules for large businesses have no penalty for not providing health insurance for part time employees.

        Excluding Healthcare costs for employers with fewer than 50 full time equivalent employees and for all part time employees is a major failing of PPACA.  This places strong pressure on companies that don't need to complete for employees to organize their business so they use employees that do not require they pay healthcare costs.  This pressure is especially strong in businesses with low profitability.

        Rather than attacking businesses for doing what the law pressures them to do, pressure should be applied on Congress to fix the law.

        PPACA is very large and complex while addressing the complex and large market of healthcare.  There will be many bad policies in PPACA simply due to this complexity.  So pressure needs to be applied to amend the law to address these significant failings of the law as they become identified.  Putting pressure on businesses is just a distraction.

        The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

        by nextstep on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:02:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I didn't read it this way (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Involuntary Exile
          However, the rules for large businesses have no penalty for not providing health insurance for part time employees.
          According to the Kaiser flowchart cited by True North above, those companies with 50 or more FTE's have to offer health insurance to all their employees that covers more than 60% of the premium and keeps the premium under 9.5% of the employee's salary. If they don't, then they are assessed penalties on only the full-time employees.

          "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

          by La Gitane on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:48:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It is more interesting then that... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            La Gitane

            because the FTE calc is set at basically 30 hours per week.

            If that business at any point allows there part time employees to go over 30 hours, then that employee will add more then 1.0 to the FTE count, If this happens across enough employees that company could end up paying a higher ta premium then if all of its employees where simply full time.

            Be the case that the employer can't fill all of their new part time positions to pickup the slack, or simply increased demand over a short period of time.

            Basically, these businesses are playing chicken with the tax man, a poor bet given the probability of an employee exceeding the FTE 30 hour per week thresh hold.

            Even more so consider how many businesses already play games with part timers that work full time hours. Name me a retailer that doesn't work a part timer for 30-36hours for 13weeks then 1 week at 18 hours then repeat(mind you personal experience from Utah, results may vary).

            Employers are going to have to balance their decision on this carefully, are the added recruitment costs, ability to universally keep workers under 30 hours, and business ability to handle common rise and fall of demand(such as the holidays). Worth the maybe savings given they still rack up FTE's on part timers, and the 30 hour cutoff creating the very real potential of paying even higher taxes.

    •  Then Capitalism is a failure. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      Money doesn't talk it swears.

      by Coss on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:17:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is a huge flaw in Obamacare. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shigeru, splashoil

      Some employers will reduce hours to 32 per week for each employee to avoid paying.

      Obamacare should have a better solution.  Maybe it is single payer, maybe it is saying anyone over 20 hours per week must get covered, or whatever.

      Saying anyone less than 33 hours per week makes the choice easy for some companies.

      •  Yes, but prior to that it was (0+ / 0-)

        only at the companies' discretion that health care was offered at all.

        Do agree that single payer would have been better.

        If... the machine of government... is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. ~Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobediance, 1849

        by shigeru on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:04:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  nothing new (0+ / 0-)

        For as long as I have been working, I have seen firms work around laws using various employment tricks.  Many firms work to keep themselves below 50 FTE employees.  Some do this legitimately by limiting company size, happy to be wealthy, not bothered by the fact that they actually have do some heavy lifting.  Others use 'contracted' labor, people who are really employees, have no control over their time or workload, but file a 1099 instead of a W-2.

        I have talked to people who work for the same employer, but in two different locations.  They put in 5 hours in one location, take an hour bus trip, and then work 5 hours in another location.  Two different checks.  Part time working full time.

        What the AHCA has done is exactly what it was designed to do.  Bring out some of these issues that have plagued the working poor.  Yes health care benefits used to be a method by which an employer would insure a stable and healthy work force.  Now that we are back to a situation in which we have many unskilled jobs, and many unskilled workers, there is no reason for an employer to do this.

        So the AHCA provides incentives for large employers to cover workers, as well as methods for uncovered people to gain health care.  

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site