With President Obama’s re-election there is now no chance of ending ObamaCare. As we still learn what is in it, one thing will be clear. A new permanent part-time work force and increased government dependence. From the WSJ:
Some low-wage employers are moving toward hiring part-time workers instead of full-time ones to mitigate the health-care overhaul’s requirement that large companies provide health insurance for full-time workers or pay a fee.
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.
President Barack Obama is set to push ahead with implementing the 2010 law if he is re-elected.
Pillar Hotels & Resorts this summer began to focus more on hiring part-time workers among its 5,500 employees, after the Supreme Court upheld the health-care overhaul, said Chief Executive Chris Russell. The company has 210 franchise hotels, under the Sheraton, Fairfield Inns, Hampton Inns and Holiday Inns brands.
“The tendency is to say, ‘Let me fill this position with a 40-hour-a-week employee.’ “Mr. Russell said. “I think we have to think differently.”
Pillar offers health insurance to employees who work 32 hours a week or more, but only half take it, and Mr. Russell wants to limit his exposure to rising health-care costs. He said he planned to pursue new segments of the population, such as senior citizens, to find workers willing to accept part-time employment.
He described the shift as a “cultural change” toward hiring more part-timers and not a prohibition against hiring full-timers.
CKE Restaurants Inc., parent of the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s burger chains, began two months ago to hire part-time workers to replace full-time employees who left, said Andy Puzder, CEO of the Carpinteria, Calif., company. CKE, which is owned by private-equity firm Apollo Management LP, APO +2.03% offers limited-benefit plans to all restaurant employees, but the federal government won’t allow those policies to be sold starting in 2014 because of low caps on payouts. Mr. Puzder said he has advised Mr. Romney’s campaign on economic issues in an unpaid capacity.
Home retailer Anna’s Linens Inc. is considering cutting hours for some full-time employees to avoid the insurance mandate if the health-care law isn’t repealed, said CEO Alan Gladstone.
Mr. Gladstone said the costs of providing coverage to all 1,100 sales associates who work at least 30 hours a week would be prohibitive, although he was weighing alternative options, such as raising prices.
The Costa Mesa, Calif., company currently offers benefits to workers who put in at least 32 hours a week.
Supporters of the health-care overhaul said most large employers already covered workers voluntarily, and requiring others to do so or pay a penalty was important to level the playing field between businesses…