Several restaurants, hotels and retailers have started or are preparing to limit schedules of hourly workers to below 30 hours a week. That is the threshold at which large employers in 2014 would have to offer workers a minimum level of insurance or pay a penalty starting at $2,000 for each worker.
The shift is one of the first significant steps by employers to avoid requirements under the health-care law, and whether the trend continues hinges on Tuesday’s election results. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has pledged to overturn the Affordable Care Act, although he would face obstacles doing so.
Let’s not mince words — that’s a 25% reduction in the impacted worker’s gross wages!
It’s already started with some “pilot projects” among certain employers, and this will spread. Bank on it. The results will be catastrophic for people in this income class, as on top of having gasoline double in price over the last four years along with other forms of energy rising precipitously along with food and health care now you’re going to see a 25% reduction in their working hours, meaning that their income is going to come down by that same 25%!
Both Darden (corporate parent of Red Lobster and Olive Garden) and some Subway franchises have been testing these changes already. When the first “real” bite comes from Obamacare in as of January 1st 2014, expect all the lower-wage service industries to do exactly this.