Regal Entertainment Group Says Obamacare Forcing it to Shorten Employees Work Weeks

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Regal Entertainment Group, the nation’s largest movie theater chain, cut the hours of thousands of non-salaried employees — and now the company explains that it’s in preparation for implementation of the Affordable Care Act (i.e. “Obamacare”).

The company, which operates more than 500 theaters in 38 states, “last month rolled back shifts for non-salaried workers to 30 hours per week, putting them under the threshold at which employers are required to provide health insurance,” FoxNews.com reports.

And management in a recent company memo says the changes are because of “Obamacare.”

“In addition, some managers have requested guidance on what they should tell those employees negatively impacted and, at your discretion, we suggest the following,” reads the memo obtained by FoxNews.com. “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,” the message continues.

Regal isn’t the first business to cut hours in preparation for “Obamacare.” Indeed, as noted elsewhere on TheBlaze, several restaurants have already cut (or considered cutting) employees’ hours:

  • A Taco Bell in Guthrie, Okla., cut “its full-time employees’ hours to avoid mandates under the new health care law,” according to News9.com.
  • A Nebraska Wendy’s franchise cut its employees’ hours to avoid paying for “Obamacare” according to Times 24/7.
  • Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter said that he would avoid the requirement by making more workers part time.
  • Darden Restaurants, owner of the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains, announced in October that it was thinking about cutting hours, “but negative backlash forced the company to abandon the idea. Darden blamed the ordeal for a dramatic 37 percent drop in fourth-quarter profits,” another report adds.

“One Regal theater manager told FoxNews.com the move has sparked a wave of resignations from full-time managers who have seen their hours cut by 25 percent or more,” the report notes.

“In the last couple weeks, managers have been quitting on a daily basis from various locations to try and find full-time work,” said the manager, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “Regal up until now has never restricted anyone to anything below 40 hours.”

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