– Obamacare prompts fears for low-wage workers as employers exploit the rules (Guardian, March 29, 2013):
Labour groups warn some big firms are cutting workers’ full-time hours to avoid paying health costs for those who need it most
– Companies cut hours of full-time employees to avoid health care (Press TV, March 29, 2013):
Under the law that takes effect next year, large employers are exempted from contributing anything towards healthcare costs of employees who work under 30 hours a week.
For full-time workers, companies must offer affordable insurance or face steep fines. Employers seeking to dodge this responsibility could impose 29-hour ceiling on workers, Flocks says, and push many onto public insurance subsidies, straining state and federal budgets.
Three years after the passage of Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, labor advocates are warning that it could have the unforeseen consequence of harming some of the very low-wage employees it seeks to aid.
The legislation’s incentive scheme, they say, could cause a shift toward part-time work that extends beyond companies like Papa John’s and Darden Restaurants, which last year publicized their plans to cut employee hours to avoid costs under the new law.
According to Sara Flocks, Public Policy Coordinator for the California Labor Federation, most at risk is the so-called contingent workforce: those employees with already fluctuating hours, no job security, and little power to bargain with management.
These are the workers whose hours can most easily be slashed by employers seeking to avoid paying health insurance. The Raw Story