8 Terrible Bosses Who Screwed Over Their Workers Because Obama Was Re-Elected
Most of us have had a terrible boss or two in our day, but right now thousands of Americans find themselves with a very special kind of bad boss: one who uses Obama's election as an excuse to threaten to cut their hours, roll back their benefits, slash their wages or fire them outright. Much of this worker abuse centers on the new law that businesses with 50 or more employees must offer workers healthcare options by 2014. Jon Stewart noticed this recent post-election "trend" and issued a strong judgment:
Guys, I get it. Providing healthcare benefits to employees costs money, and as a group you tend to prefer things that do not cost that [money].... But own your layoffs and your policies. Let’s stop pretending that suddenly, with this election, bosses have been transformed into reluctant assholes. Obamacare is just the latest excuse to wriggle out of the social contract [that’s existed] for many years.
Below is a list of some of the employers who are threatening their workers’ job security in the name of Obamacare -- and other bogus Obama-related rationales. (There are a few restaurants you might want to avoid if you care about the health and well-being of low- and middle-class workers.)
1. Denny’s/Dairy Queen franchise threatens “Obamacare surcharge,” reduced employees hours.
John Metz, who owns Hurricane Grill & Wings and dozens of Denny’s and Dairy Queen franchises, has threated to slash his workers’ pay and impose an “Obamacare surcharge” at his restaurants.
"If I leave the prices the same, but say on the menu that there is a 5 percent surcharge for Obamacare, customers have two choices. They can either pay it and tip 15 or 20 percent, or if they really feel so inclined, they can reduce the amount of tip they give to the server, who is the primary beneficiary of Obamacare," Metz told the Huffington Post. "Although it may sound terrible that I'm doing this, it's the only alternative. I've got to pass the cost on to the consumer."
Terrible, yes. The only alternative, not so much.
2. Red Lobster and Olive Garden parent company may rely on more part-time workers.
Darden Concepts, the parent corporation of Red Lobster and Olive Garden, may start using more part-time workers who would likely not be eligible for employee-sponsored health insurance plans, according to Salon’s Natasha Lennard, who cites a report by MSNBC’s Ned Resnikoff:
[T]he company overall could come to rely more on part-time workers. Those new employees would likely not enjoy the same health benefits that all employees currently do. “Today we offer health care to all of our employees,” said Rich Jeffers, [a spokesperson for Darden]. But under the Affordable Care Act, which sets minimum standards for the health care being provided, “we can’t offer that.”
It’s appalling that Darden would cut health insurance offerings in response to a law that should boost healthcare coverage, but it's not all that surprising; Darden has a long history of terrible labor practices.
3. Papa John’s CEO plans to slash workers’ hours so he doesn’t have to cover them.
Like Darden, Papa John’s has a horrible labor track record (it's one of the nation’s 50 biggest low-wage employers), and its CEO would rather cut employees’ hours than comply with the Affordable Care Act rules. ABC reports that CEO John Schnatter said he wants all his employees to have health insurance, but “it was likely that some franchise owners would reduce employees' hours in order to avoid having to cover them.”
Laura Clawson of the Daily Kos has some strong words for Schnatter and his ilk: