Darden Experiments With Cutting Worker Hours To Avoid Paying Health Insurance

As more pieces of the Affordable Care Act federal health care law come into effect, employers are evidently beginning to brainstorm ideas to save money and avoid having to provide health care for their employees. Darden Restaurants, owner of chains such as Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and LongHorn Steakhouses is trying out a venerable tactic from the retail industry: keeping employee hours just a hair under “full-time” so they don’t have to provide benefits.

Once the law is fully in effect in 2014, large employers will have to provide some form of health insurance for all workers who put in 30 or more hours per week. The obvious solution, then, is to keep all staffers at about 29 hours per week, or even fewer. Brilliant!

“You are a replaceable and expendable cog,” grouses the writer of Red Lobster Blog. “Don’t be delusional [and] think otherwise. If stabbing you with a knife would save them 0.5%, [Darden would] arm their managers nightly, and ask you to sharpen the blade as side work.”

Darden tests limiting worker hours as health-care changes loom [Orlando Sentinel] (Thanks, FMT!)