Denny’s to impose Obamacare surtax, cut employee hours to below 30 per week

About a week ago I noted that Obama’s re-election guarantees Obamacare will be implemented, and businesses would take evasive action to avoid the staggering costs the ill-conceived monstrosity will necessarily impose upon them. The best way to avoid these costs is for businesses to eschew full-time employees for part timers:

Not only has Obama’s election resulted in dozens of businesses announcing lay-offs, but it will also accelerate the trend of replacing full-time workers with part time workers. Obama’s continued presence in the White House means that Obamacare is here to stay, and businesses already struggling to stay afloat simply can’t afford the massive Obamacare tax that’s on its way. The survival instinct is forcing them to reduce the number of hours many of their employees work to below 30 in order to avoid it.

Today, via the Daily Mail, we find out that Jon Metz, a Florida restaurateur, is not only cutting his employee’s hours below 30, but he’s imposing a 5% surtax to pay for the Obamacare taxes he can’t avoid:

Florida based restaurant boss John Metz, who runs approximately 40 Denny’s and owns the Hurricane Grill & Wings franchise has decided to offset that by adding a five percent surcharge to customers’ bills and will reduce his employees’ hours.

With Obamacare due to be fully implemented in January 2014, Metz has justified his move by claiming it is ‘the only alternative. I’ve got to pass on the cost to the customer.’

The fast-food business owner is set to hold meetings at his restaurants in December where he will tell employees, ‘that because of Obamacare, we are going to be cutting front-of-the-house employees to under 30 hours, effective immediately.’

Metz is not happy about this and is fully aware of the hardship this will place on his employees. However, as he explains, he has no choice if he wants to remain in business:

‘I think it’s a terrible thing. It’s ridiculous that the maximum hours we can give people is 28 hours a week instead of 40,’ said Metz to the Huffington Post.

‘It’s going to force my employees to go out and get a second job.’

Obamacare requires businesses or franchises with more than 50 workers must offer an approved insurance plan or pay a penalty of $2,000 for each full-time worker over 30 workers.

The program mandates that only employees working more than 30 hours a week are covered under their employers health insurance plan, chains like Olive Garden and Red Lobster are already considering reduced worker hours.

‘Obviously, I’d love to cover all our employees under that insurance,’ said Metz.

‘But to pay $5,000 per employee would cost us $175,000 per restaurant and unfortunately, most of our restaurants don’t make $175,000 a year. I can’t afford it.’  

This is just the tip of the iceberg, folks. As more and more businesses are confronted with the costs of Obamacare, they’ll have three choices: raise their prices, cut their payroll, or go out of business. Metz resorted to the first two. I like his idea of imposing an explicit tax which effectively itemizes the cost of Obamacare to his customers. I hope other businesses follow suit. If they don’t and simply raise prices without saying why, customers won’t make the connection between rising retail prices and Obamacare. If they follow Metz’s lead, though, they’ll know exactly why prices are rising. They’ll also understand that Obama’s line about only raising taxes on those evil "millionaires and billionaires" is a complete sham, and that his pledge that nobody making under $250,000 will see any of their taxes rise … "not by a single dime", is just more of the typical shuck and jive we’ve come to expect from the community organizer-in-chief.


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