Survey: Businesses Cut Full-Time Jobs In Response to Obamacare

Wednesday, 13 Nov 2013 04:19 PM

By Courtney Coren

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Obamacare has led businesses to cut full-time jobs in the face of higher healthcare costs even with the one-year delay of the employer mandate, a new survey finds.

According to research commissioned by the International Franchise Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 31 percent of franchise and 12 percent of non-franchise businesses say that they have begun to reduce worker hours in preparation for Obamacare even though they won't be required to for about a year.

The survey conducted by Public Opinion Strategies of 400 businesses nationwide with 40 to 500 employees also found that 27 percent of franchise and 12 percent of non-franchise business have hired part-time employees to replace full-time workers because of the new law.

"Instead of providing affordable healthcare coverage to employees, the law will effectively take hours and wages away from Americans who need and want full-time jobs," said Bruce Josten, executive vice president for Government Affairs for the Chamber of Commerce. "That's bad for businesses and their employees."

Additionally, several businesses say that once the new healthcare law is fully implemented, they will no longer provide health insurance for their employees.

Among businesses with 40 to 70 employees, almost two-thirds of franchise businesses and more than half of non-franchises plan to "make personnel changes to stay below the 50 full-time-equivalent threshold."

The International Franchise Association and Chamber of Commerce both support the bipartisan Forty Hours is Full-Time Act of 2013 measure authored by Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Democrat Joe Donnelly of Indiana, which would change the full-time employee definition in the healthcare law to 40 hours per week instead of the current 30 hours.

"We urge Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to change the definition of 'full-time' to 40 hours per week to allow employers to grow, create jobs and equally important, give employees the additional hours they need and are accustomed to," said International Franchise Association President and CEO Steve Caldeira.

The Wall Street Journal editorialized in July that the bipartisan bill offered a sensible fix to one of Obamacare's problems.

In September, franchise owners from across the country went to Washington to lobby lawmakers to raise the definition of full-time workers in the Affordable Care Act to 40 hours.

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