The largest movie theater chain in the country has cut the workweek of thousands of its employees, blaming President Obama’s health care law in a company memo that announced its decision.
Regal Entertainment Group scaled back shifts for non-salaried workers to part time, putting them under the threshold at which employers are required to provide health insurance, Fox News reports.
“To comply with the Affordable Care Act, Regal had to increase our health care budget to cover those newly deemed eligible based on the law’s definition of a full time employee,” the memo reads. “In addition, some managers have requested guidance on what they should tell those employees negatively impacted and, at your discretion, we suggest the following: To comply with the Affordable Care Act, Regal had to increase our health care budget to cover those newly deemed eligible based on the law’s definition of a full-time employee.”
“To manage this budget, all other employees will be scheduled in accord with business needs and in a manner that will not negatively impact our health care budget,” the announcement continued.
A number of colleges and businesses, such as Applebee’s and Olive Garden, have taken similar measures in order to cope with health care costs. Other business are passing the costs onto the customers.
“Mandating businesses to offer health care under threat of debilitating fines does not fix a problem, it creates one,” a Regal manager, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Fox News. “It fosters a new business culture where 30 hours is now considered the maximum in order to avoid paying the high costs associated with this law.
“In a time where 40 hours is just getting us by, putting these kind of financial pressures on employers is a big step in a direction far beyond the reach of feasibility for not only the businesses, but for the employees who rely on their success,” he said.