Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Obamacare in action: Denny’s to charge 5% surcharge and cut employee hours

Story here from the UK Daily Mail.

Excerpt:

President Obama’s election victory ensured his Affordable Care Act would remain the centerpiece of his first term in power – but that has left some business owners baulking at the extra cost Obamcare will bring.

Florida based restaurant boss John Metz, who runs approximately 40 Denny’s and owns the Hurricane Grill & Wings franchise has decided to offset that by adding a five percent surcharge to customers’ bills and will reduce his employees’ hours.

With Obamacare due to be fully implemented in January 2014, Metz has justified his move by claiming it is ‘the only alternative. I’ve got to pass on the cost to the customer.’

The fast-food business owner is set to hold meetings at his restaurants in December where he will tell employees, ‘that because of Obamacare, we are going to be cutting front-of-the-house employees to under 30 hours, effective immediately.’

I think it’s a terrible thing. It’s ridiculous that the maximum hours we can give people is 28 hours a week instead of 40,’ said Metz to the Huffington Post.

‘It’s going to force my employees to go out and get a second job.’

Obamacare requires businesses or franchises with more than 50 workers must offer an approved insurance plan or pay a penalty of $2,000 for each full-time worker over 30 workers.

The program mandates that only employees working more than 30 hours a week are covered under their employers health insurance plan, chains like Olive Garden and Red Lobster are already considering reduced worker hours.

‘Obviously, I’d love to cover all our employees under that insurance,’ said Metz.

‘But to pay $5,000 per employee would cost us $175,000 per restaurant and unfortunately, most of our restaurants don’t make $175,000 a year. I can’t afford it.’

Claiming that he is not anti-insurance Metz has said that he understands the problems this will cause for his employees.

Several other restaurants including Papa John’s, Apple Metro and Jimmy John’s have announced plans to skirt Obamacare by reducing employees hours to make them part-time.

[...]Earlier this week Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter told shareholders in a conference call this week that Obamacare would cost the company 11 to 14 cents per pizza, a cost that would be passed on to customers.

My hope is that many of the people who voted for Obama will face these higher prices. But they are probably too stupid to connect cause to effect. After all, you don’t learn about economics by watching “Dancing with the Stars” and MTV. My big fear is that after Obama inflates the gas prices with his energy regulations carbon taxes, the insurance prices with his regulations and taxes, and so on, that the people will turn against business and demand communism. I pray that it doesn’t go that far, but many Americans are so bad at understanding economics these days.

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Papa John pizza CEO: cuts to employee hours likely, because of Obamacare

Fox News reports. (H/T Dad)

Excerpt:

The CEO of popular pizza chain Papa John’s says his employees may face reduced hours and he expects his business costs to rise because President Obama’s re-election most likely insures the president’s health care reform law will be implemented in full.

NaplesNews.com reports John Schnatter made the remarks to a small group at Edison State College’s Collier County campus the day after the election.

Schnatter, who supported Mitt Romney in the election, said all Americans having health insurance under ObamaCare is a good, but estimates the change will cost Papa John’s $5 million to $8 million annually.

Schnatter estimated that these rising costs could adversely affect his workers. Since only full-time employees working 30 hours or more must be covered under the new law, he said he expects franchise owners will be forced to cut employees’ hours because they can’t afford the costs of health insurance plans.

“That’s probably what’s going to happen,” he said according to NaplesNews.com. “It’s common sense. That’s what I call lose-lose.”

The comments were not Schnatter’s first statements on ObamaCare. He made headlines in August for telling shareholders the law may lead to increases in the price of his pizza.

In addition, the Applebee’s family restaurant chain is under public attack, including the threat of boycotts after New York-area franchisee Zane Tankel told Fox Business Network that cost increases related to implementing ObamaCare might result in no expansion or additional hiring. Critics appear to have interpreted Tankel’s comments to mean he will layoff customers as a result of ObamaCare.

It’s too bad that Obama’s policies will hurt people who want to work for a living, but it’s a hard lesson that we all need to learn: socialism means that we have higher unemployment, less take home pay, lower quality goods, and higher prices. It means having less prosperity and less liberty. And we voted for it.

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Companies announce layoffs in the wake of Obama’s re-election

The Washington Times links to this article by Freedom Works.

Excerpt:

 With 20 or so new or higher taxes set to be implemented, ranging from a $123 billion surtax on investment income, through the $20 billion medical device tax, all the way down to the $600 million executive compensation limit, Obamacare will be a nearly unbearable tax burden on the economy.

Who will pay?  The middle-class workforce, of course.

So with another four years for President Obama to look forward to, and the obvious inevitability of Obamacare that this entails, let’s examine the very real jobs that will be lost, and the very real lives that will be affected.

Here are some of the companies impacted by Obamacare:

Welch Allyn

Welch Allyn, a company that manufactures medical diagnostic equipment in central New York, announced in September that they would be laying off 275 employees, or roughly 10% of their workforce over the next three years.  One of the major reasons discussed for the layoffs was a proactive response to the Medical Device Tax mandated by the new healthcare law.

Dana Holding Corp.

As recently as a week ago, a global auto parts manufacturing company in Ohio known as Dana Holding Corp., warned their employees of potential layoffs, citing “$24 million over the next six years in additional U.S. health care expenses”.  After laying off several white collar staffers, company insiders have hinted at more to come.  The company will have to cover the additional $24 million cost somehow, which will likely equate to numerous cuts in their current workforce of 25,500 worldwide.

Stryker

One of the biggest medical device manufacturers in the world, Stryker will close their facility in Orchard Park, New York, eliminating 96 jobs in December.  Worse, they plan on countering the medical device tax in Obamacare by slashing 5% of their global workforce – an estimated 1,170 positions.

Boston Scientific

In October of 2009, Boston Scientific CEO Ray Elliott, warned that proposed taxes in the health care reform bill could “lead to significant job losses” for his company.  Nearly two years later, Elliott announced that the company would be cutting anywhere between 1,200 and 1,400 jobs, while simultaneously shifting investments and workers overseas – to China.

Medtronic

In March of 2010, medical device maker Medtronic warned that Obamacare taxes could result in a reduction of precisely 1,000 jobs.  That plan became reality when the company cut 500 positions over the summer, with another 500 set for the end of 2013.

Obamacare encourages companies to limit their number of full-time employees by switching to part-time employees. Some companies are doing that to avoid having to pay Obamacare fines.

Look:

Darden Restaurants

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Darden Restaurants, a casual dining chain best known for their Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants, is “experimenting with limiting the hours of some of its workers to avoid health care requirements under the Affordable Care Act when they take effect in 2014″.

JANCOA Janitorial Services

The CEO of JANCOA, Mary Miller, testified to Congress that Obamacare was a “dream killer”, adding that one option she had to consider “is reducing the majority of my team members to part-time employment in order to reduce the amount that I will be penalized.”

Kroger

The American retailer in Cincinnati, Ohio recently was reported to be planning a significant slashing of their hourly workers.  Doug Ross writes:

Operative Faith (a mid-level manager with the company) reveals that Kroger will soon join the ranks of Darden Restaurants and slash the hours of its non-exempt (hourly) workers to avoid millions in Obamacare penalties.

According to the source, Obamacare could result in tens of thousands of Kroger employees being limited to working 28 hours per week.

And of course there are the layoffs by defense companies like Boeing, because of Obama’s defense cuts. The one thing that the government is actually supposed to do – that’s the thing he cuts.

The effects of Obamacare were well-known before the 2012 election took place. But the Democrat voters were just not paying attention when the voted to re-elect Obama.

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Obama administration will pay companies to violate law governing layoff notices

From the Heritage Foundation.

Excerpt:

The Obama Administration’s disregard for the law has struck again—and this time, it’s encouraging others to violate the law at taxpayer expense.

That’s worth saying again: The Obama Administration is encouraging people to violate a law, and promising that it will use taxpayer money to cover fines incurred from this action.

The law: The law in question is called the WARN Act, and it requires that federal contractors send employees layoff notices 60 days before a plant closing or mass layoff.

The inconvenience: Massive defense spending cuts under sequestration are scheduled to hit on January 2, 2013. Defense contractors affected by the budget cuts would have to issue notice letters to employees by November 2 (four days before the election) to meet the January 2 start date for the spending cuts.

The penalty taxpayers would pay: Employers who violate the WARN Act are liable to their former employees for “back pay for each day of a violation” and “benefits under an employee benefit plan,” as well as a penalty of $500 for each day that notice has not been sent to the local government where the layoffs will occur.

As an example, Lockheed CEO Bob Stevens has said that 123,000 of his employees would receive layoff notices. If companies fail to meet the WARN Act’s deadline, lawsuits from employees could result—but the White House has provided a taxpayer-funded guarantee as a way to counter their fears of enormous litigation costs. This guarantee is not only unprecedented but also potentially unlawful.

This President is only interested in one thing – misleading the American people on the issues so he can get re-elected. We have about a week to get this out there, or he’s going to do it. Make sure you keep sharing all of these articles with people who haven’t voted. We need to get everyone informed and into the ballot box on election day.

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Obama administration warns contractors to delay layoffs to after election

This is currently the top story at Fox News.

Excerpt:

The Obama administration has doubled down on its plea to defense contractors not to warn employees about possible layoffs due to looming budget cuts —  going so far as to offer to cover legal fees in compensation challenges.

The move drew a stern rebuke Friday from South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune, since federal law requires employers to give notice if mass layoffs are likely.

“For the second time, the Obama administration has now encouraged government contractors to ignore the WARN Act and hold off on warning employees about possible layoffs due to the looming sequestration cuts,” Thune, lead author of the Sequestration Transparency Act, said Friday.

The offer to pay the legal fees was included in a memorandum issued by the administration Friday that also restated the Labor Department’s position from July that contractors should not issue written notices to employees because of the “uncertainty” over the across-the-board cuts to the defense budget and other federal spending that will occur Jan. 2 unless Congress reaches a new deal.

The notices are required under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act and generally require employers with more than 100 employees to provide 60-day notices of “mass layoffs if they are reasonably foreseeable.”

[...]Rep. John Kline, chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, suggested last week that the Labor Department is trying to conceal the full impact of the cuts.

“The Labor Department is trying to hide the consequences of sequestration from workers,” Kline, R-Minn., said in a letter to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.

So the administration is more concerned about being re-elected than with the cuts to an already weakened defense industry.  The focus is always on rhetoric and perception with these Democrats, never on substance and doing what’s right.

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