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It's not just for Papa John's,  Applebee's, and Olive Garden anymore. The scheme to avoid providing healthcare benefits by cutting employee hours "popularized" by these restaurant serving unhealthy food by unhealthy employees is so attractive that Gov. Bob McDonnell has decided to implement it for Virginia state employees.

Republican governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell has slipped language into the state's budget bill requiring hourly employees to work no more than 29 hours per week, making them ineligible for healthcare benefits as required by the ACA. Of 37,000 workers this would affect approximately 7,000 employees, including adjunct state college professors.

The 29-hour limit is on its way to becoming state law, thanks to language inserted into the state budget at the request of Gov. Bob McDonnell’s administration. The language appears in both versions of the budget adopted Thursday by the Senate and House of Delegates.[...]
Anticipating legislative approval of the policy, the state Department of Human Resource Management has advised all state agencies to implement it now.
The state has more than 37,000 wage employees. More than 7,000 of them have been working at least 30 hours a week, according to a recent survey taken by the department.
This move by the pizza chain has been shown to have negative effects on Papa John's reputation. But government employees are "evil" according to right-wing conservatives, so it's not clear that Virginia could suffer any such blowback.

This leaves state employees with the option of trying to buy health insurance on the upcoming public exchanges, on part time salaries. And bidding goodbye to the middle class.

Originally posted to Barefoothoofcare on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:24 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Virginia Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I am speechless....this is all I got... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, irishwitch

    From Aldus Shrugged:

    "...After the rally, I visualized Governor Perry at the wheel of his Toyota pickup, disappearing in a cloud of dust, a glorious sunset ahead; Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell riding shotgun, fingering the twin barrels between his legs.  Both garbed in quilted bright orange and cammo hats.  Whoopin’ it up:  The rugged open road west in front, gun rack behind, bull balls hangin’ from the bumper, and a transvaginal ultrasound wand swingin’ every-which-way-but-gaily from the rearview...."

    What's next for the invasive Gov. Bob?

    Is he gonna slip Prima Nocta into the next budget?

    Buy Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand, and tear Ayn and the GOP new orifices. ALL ROYALTIES BETWEEN NOW AND MARCH 1, DONATED TO THIS SITE, DAILYKOS!! @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:28:51 AM PST

  •  Here's my idea... (5+ / 0-)

    Sure, fine, go with that.  

    However, raise the minimum wage to the point where you can support a family of four with medical on 29 hours a week.

    Helps solve unemployment, since you need somebody else for those 11 hours and helps stimulate the economy too.

    Win, win, win all around.

    Except for the 1%, but honestly, they've had enough wins the past few years, so with all respect and love, FUCK them.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:31:29 AM PST

  •  But wasn't there some regulation that made (7+ / 0-)

    this type of Snidely Whiplash behavior moot? Something about the total man hours as opposed to actual number of employees being what triggered the fines?

    I am so tired of all this bs and the war being waged on workers. Our country is SCREAMING for a Labor movement/party/leader addressing living wages and healthcare right now.

    NATURE!! Wake up, there's a vacuum being abhorred!

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:34:16 AM PST

    •  Not that I'm aware of. Would love to know? nt (0+ / 0-)

      "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

      by eXtina on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:36:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes There Is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eXtina, Eric Nelson

      If you have enough part time workers whose combined hours equals 50 or more part time workers, then they can trigger the requirement for all part time workers to get health care. I don't think the Universities are going to be able to avoid the trigger since they will clearly be shorting hours just to get under the requirement. Of course we'll have to see how much effort Obama is willing to put into enforcement.

      I'm thinking that the only employers who would be able to avoid the requirement are those who typically employee lots of students who each only work a handful of hours, where the limited hours are at the request of the employees rather then for the benefit of the employers.

  •  But by all means (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, Marjmar, Cassandra Waites, ColoTim

    don't do anything that might threaten the benefits packages granted to elected representatives and their staff. That would be regarded as "punitive" don'tcha know...

  •  I wonder if this is only state employees or if it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, ColoTim, luckylizard

    applies to those at the county level as well.  I'm so glad to be living in Maryland. My school system gives benefits to those who work half time (20 hours a week) or more and they pay 90% toward those benefits whether one is full time or part time.  Of course we've had to give up some cost of living raises to maintain that.

    “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

    by musiclady on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:53:04 AM PST

  •  Just another indication that not only do (8+ / 0-)

    Republicans not care about Americans who are not rich, they actively work to make their lives worse, not better.

    “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

    by ahumbleopinion on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:02:19 AM PST

  •  How will the public react when government services (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    aren't available?

  •  Put the blame where it belongs (6+ / 0-)

    this -- and the actions of companies like Papa John's --  is a direct and foreseeable consequence of the way the Congress structured the employer mandate in the ACA.  

    Built into the ACA is a direct financial incentive (1) to keep your total number of employees under 50 if you are  small business; and (2) to keep as many employees as possible under the limit for a "part-time" worker.

    The financial incentive was obvious to anyone with half a brain.  If you have 49 employees, hiring that 50th doesn't just cost you the cost for one more employee -- it costs you that 50th employee PLUS it makes each of those other 49 employees more expensive.  With respect to that part time worker, that extra hour(s) doesn't just cost you that extra hour, it makes every hour worked by that worker more expensive.  

    This is the problem with a health care system that is so tied to employment.  And anyone with half a brain could see EXACTLY where the financial incentives are for those who are paying the workers.  

    I expect that people in Congress would have a brain.  And if they thought, well, sure, if you go over 50 employees the incremental costs for each employee goes up, and if you go over 30 hours, the incremental cost for each hour goes up, but employers will ignore that, then they don't have a brain.  

    It is really foolish to expect people WON'T take advantage of whatever financial incentives that the law provides to them.  If you are the one passing laws, you are supposed to EXPECT that people will act in accordance with the financial incentives that you write into the law.  

    •  That's not how businesses scale (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eXtina, Eric Nelson

      If your hovering at just below the 50 mark and you actually have a lot of uninsured workers, then yeah you'll think long and hard about getting to 50 unless you really need those extra workers.

      But most businesses, when they get to a certain size take big leaps in employees as they expand. For example if you are small chain, with a plan to expand your market, you're not going to decide just to stay at 3 locations to save on insurance when your research shows you can grow to 20 locations over the next couple of years. Similarly if you get a new client that will double your revenue and you need to hire a dozen more people, you're not going to turn down the business to stay under 50 employees.

  •  Wha'? They weren't covered already? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Am I missing something? This would mean their employees weren't already receiving health benefits. There would be no reason to cut hours to avoid providing something if you were providing it already.

    "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

    by Catte Nappe on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:38:30 AM PST

    •  Ah - maybe making some sense of it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eXtina, luckylizard

      It affects "only" 7,000 out of 37,000 workers. It would appear that they may have defined those folks as part time, and thus ineligible for benefits; with that definition being (as is the case in many places) less than 35 or 32 hours per week. The ACA then set a definition that even those "part timers" would have to be covered if they worked at least 30.

      "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

      by Catte Nappe on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:46:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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