The country’s largest movie theater chain is joining the ranks of Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Applebee’s.
Regal Cinemas will cut the hours of thousands of employees, reducing shifts for non-salaried employees to 30 hours per week max. This puts those workers right under the threshold of requiring health insurance. The culprit for these cuts, according to a memo from corporate offices to managers, is Obamacare.
Fox News obtained the memo: “In addition, some managers have requested guidance on what they should tell those employees negatively impacted and, at your discretion, we suggest the following: To comply with the Affordable Care Act, Regal had to increase our health care budget to cover those newly deemed eligible based on the law’s definition of a full-time employee. To manage this budget, all other employees will be scheduled in accord with business needs and in a manner that will not negatively impact our health care budget.”
One Regal manager told Fox News that resignations have been occurring every day since the changes went into effect and that, prior to this, Regal never restricted any employees to work less than 40 hours.
Darden Restaurants, owner of Red Lobster and Olive Garden, reduced employees’ hours to under 30 in four markets. It’s not yet clear if it’s helped overall or well help when Obamacare goes into effect, but the company reported that profits dropped 37% last November.
In December, the company backed off from the test and told the media that no full-time employees would be converted to part-time. Though there was no comment as to why Darden backtracked, the Orlando Sentinel says that many local consumers boycotted the Orlando-based company and refused to shop at or patronize any businesses that cut workers’ hours to combat Obamacare.