The Obamacare employer mandate states that any employer with fifty or more employees must provide healthcare benefits to all of their full time employees. The mandate also changed the definition of full time employees to anyone working thirty or more hours per week.
About a month ago, the White House stated that they have seen absolutely no evidence of companies cutting employee hours because of the employer mandate. They openly denied that thousands of American workers have had their hours and income cut by 25%. The White House even suggested that it’s nothing more than a political ploy being used by Republicans who oppose the Affordable Care Act.
When your administration is rife with corruption, the commission of illegal acts and constitutional violations it’s easy to ignore hundreds of reports and then lie to the American public. But I have to wonder what the White House response is to a report that has surfaced involving Staples office supplies stores.
Many Staples employees are furious over a new company policy that threatens their jobs. To avoid having the pay for expensive health benefits to their 58,000 employees, Staples has drastically cut employee hours. On top of the hourly cuts, they retailer has issued a policy stating that part time employees working more than 25 hours a week will be terminated.
Staples employees have started a petition on Change.org asking the company to stop cutting part time hours because of Obamacare. So far, the petition has over 200,000 signatures. Part of the petition states:
“This new policy includes termination of GENERAL MANAGERS if employees ever go over 25 hours a week! This has led to some bizarre stories of General Managers telling part-time employees to ‘leave now or be fired’ in the middle of transactions with customers.”
After Staples recently acquired Office Depot at a cost of $6.3 billion, their overall sales has been declining. The company has started taking measures to cut costs by closing some stores and cutting employee hours below the 30 hour per week level.
Staples is trying to defend their policy by stating:
“Staples’™ policy regarding part-time associates weekly hours pre-dates the Affordable Care Act by many years. Some managers may have reiterated the existing policy to our associates as part of our ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of our stores. In fact, this policy has been in place for more than a decade.”
That may be true, but why is it suddenly being more vigorously enforced than during the past decade if not because of Obamacare? Buzzfeed interviewed some Staples employees who said that their hours have been drastically cut over the past year. Some have had their hours cut to only 20 hours a week.
Staples and other companies not providing healthcare benefits to employees working 30 or more hours could face fines of up to $3,000 per employee. On the flip side, many companies report that providing healthcare benefits that meet the Obamacare standards can cost them anywhere from $4,000 to as much as $9,500 per employee.
In today’s tight economy where profit margins are difficult to reach, it only makes good business sense to reduce workers’ hours to less than 30 hours per week. That way the company doesn’t have to shell out thousands to millions of dollars for healthcare benefits, nor will they be forced to pay the fines for not providing coverage.
Whether or not Staples is now enforcing their policy due to Obamacare, there have been so many other reports of employees having their hours cut and losing their employer provided healthcare benefits. Even the Congressional Budget Office recently released a report stating that they expect as many as 10 million workers to have their hours cut and lose their employer provided healthcare benefits as a direct result of Obamacare.
But Obama will continue to deny it’s happening and remain in his ebony tower, living off of taxpayer money. If I had my way, the only living off of taxpayer money that Obama would be enjoying is that used to support the prison where he belongs.