Posts Tagged ‘Darden Restaurants’
October 16th, 2012 at 6:26 pm
An Obama Ally Previews the Coming ObamaCare Disaster
Posted by Print

Remember Darden Restaurants? As I blogged last year, they’re the parent company of Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and LongHorn Steakhouse that decided to codify Michelle Obama’s recommendations about nutrition in the menus of their franchises. But their latest change in corporate policy has far more ominous implications for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. From the Orlando Sentinel:

In an experiment apparently aimed at keeping down the cost of health-care reform, Orlando-based Darden Restaurants has stopped offering full-time schedules to many hourly workers in at least a few Olive Gardens, Red Lobsters and LongHorn Steakhouses.

Darden said the test is taking place in “a select number” of restaurants in four markets, including Central Florida, but would not give details. The company said there has been no decision made about expanding it.

In an emailed statement, Darden said staffing changes are “just one of the many things we are evaluating to help us address the cost implications health care reform will have on our business. There are still many unanswered questions regarding the health care regulations and we simply do not have enough information to make any decisions at this time.”

Analysts say many other companies, including the White Castle hamburger chain, are considering employing fewer full-timers because of key features of the Affordable Care Act scheduled to go into effect in 2014. Under that law, large companies must provide affordable health insurance to employees working an average of at least 30 hours per week.

If they do not, the companies can face fines of up to $3,000 for each employee who then turns to an exchange — an online marketplace— for insurance.

So in the course of a year, the Obama Administration has cost me my Olive Garden breadsticks and Darden employees a sizable chunk of their livelihood. I’ll be honest: the first one verges on an impeachable offense in my book. But the second one is inexcusable. It’s underemployment by legislative fiat.

So remember this fact when you hear Barack Obama tout himself as a champion of the middle class in tonight’s debate: the Darden example is representative — working Americans without healthcare and with smaller paychecks.