Monday, October 8, 2012

Obamacare's Impact On Employment In Action

NewsMax Reporter Martin Gould reports that the Restaurant Company, Darden Restaurants, is changing its employment policies due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) otherwise known as "Obamacare".

Section 204 of the 2400+ page PPACA calls for fines on any business that employs more than 50 employees who work more than 30 hours a week, on average. The fine is $3,000 per full-time employee that is not given healthcare benefits at a defined minimum level. The Darden Restautant Corporation, in response, has announced it is going to limit the majority of its employees to 28 hours per week.

What this will do is generate a small bump in employment as the company will seek to fill all of the man-hours it will require to maintain or increase its service. However, those jobs will not be beneficial to the economy under current conditions. It means that more people who are currently counted as full-time employed will transfer into the "underemployed" category, causing a rise in the U6 unemployment figures. It will mean that employees that are used to working over 30 hours a week, gaining that hourly wage plus the gratuities received will see a sharp decrease in wages.

Over the next five years, Darden plans on opening as many as 500 new restaurants. That will mean a proportionate number of new jobs (up to 50,000), though they will be part-time and will not qualify for healthcare benefits under the PPACA. Simply, Darden has done its cost-benefit analysis and cannot afford to offer the benefits the PPACA mandates. As many as 185,000 current employees will see their hours and benefits cut due to the law.

Darden is not the first major employer to consider cutting full-time positions and limiting hours to keep employees under 30 hours due to the PPACA's provisions. Many small and mid-sized business have already made such changes as reflected by the rise in underemployed by over 600,000 in the month of September. The trend will likely continue until the PPACA is repealed.

In the meantime, workers or potential workers may be seeking multiple part-time jobs in order to make ends meet. In this suppressed economy, even those jobs are scarce making competitive wages lower. It also means that we will see a drastic reduction in individuals covered by group healthcare plans and stuck with more expensive individual health plans or stuck with the "public" option, therefore further dependent upon an intrusive government. In its most basic essence, this law comprises the largest theft of liberty our country has seen since we were colonies under the thumb of King George's tyranny.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. owns Red Lobster , Olive Garden , Longhorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grill, and Yard House.