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Some small business owners met with Kelly Ayotte here in NH this past week to whine about ACA.

From her email:

Owners of some small New Hampshire businesses said at a forum Thursday that paperwork and expense are threatening the economic platforms on which their companies are built - to the point that the Affordable Care Act could trump nature.

Greg Goddard, general manager of Gunstock Ski Resort, said requirements that health insurance be offered to employees who are on a company payroll for 120 consecutive days or longer could mean opening the slopes later and shutting them down earlier.

"We may not be able to open beyond 120 days; it may be Christmas to the middle of March ... the summer season may be the fourth of July until Labor Day," Goddard said at a roundtable discussion with Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. "If I didn't have this mandate to worry about, this would not be on the table."

Now we know this is absolute BS and these business owners just don't want to do the right thing by their employees.

So if you are a skier, or a resident of New England pass the word around about places like GunStock that care so little about their employees that they would rather close up then do the right thing.

You might also drop a word or two on their Facebook page as to what you think about this move. Gunstock

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    Frankly, I’m getting more than a little tired of hearing from angry America. I’m also less than fond of knee-jerk America. And when you combine the two with the Internet, you too often get stupid America, which is really annoying.

    by jsfox on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 03:10:52 PM PDT

  •  And yet they'll gladly back Republican policies (23+ / 0-)

    that lead to global warming which will wipe out skiing completely.

    Ass. Holes.

    GOP 2014 strategy -- Hire clowns, elephants, and a ringmaster and say "a media circus" has emerged and blame Democrats for lack of progress. Have pundits agree that "both sides are to blame" and hope the public will stay home on election day.

    by ontheleftcoast on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 03:12:32 PM PDT

  •  His employees probably don't even want health care (8+ / 0-)

    It's not like anybody ever gets seriously injured skiing/snowboarding.

    This is a fantastic documentary, BTW.

  •  Shouldn't he be more worried about climate change? (8+ / 0-)

    At this rate, global warming will put him out of business.

    •  No, That'd Be Like a Fisherman Worried Aboutr (4+ / 0-)

      overfishing extinction.

      It doesn't hurt markets for their basic resources or space to be wiped out.

      A 2% tax, though-- THAT is holocaust.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 03:28:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  definitely shortening the season (6+ / 0-)

      When I moved to NH in 1978, ski areas -- both downhill and cross-country -- in the southern half of the state could do pretty well. Now, even in the White Mountains, it's sometimes too warm to make snow, and the cross-country trails are iffy.

      It's also hard to get people to go skiing once baseball season starts, so 120 days seems plenty long for a season.

      But I'm sure Sen. Ayotte needs any thread to grasp to justify opposing a program that's helping so many of her constituents.

      •  Exactly.... (0+ / 0-)

        Having skied (and worked at ski areas) in the North East for well over, ummmmmm....lots of years (I'll just say that my earliest memory of skiing is riding on a single chairlift on my Dad's lap (I was too little to ride by myself), way before snow making machines).  
        Skiing around Thanksgiving has always been a pretty iffy proposition (a delightful addition to the ski season, but we didn't expect it every year) but beginning then and ending around the first week in April would be around the 120 day marker. Dependent on the season, skiing in November and the beginning of December (interesting snow and no snow depth) and at the end of March beginning of April (corn snow and lots of bare spots) is for the pretty hard core skier.  As I said it depends entirely on the season despite all the snowmaking machinery you have.
        For a smaller place like Gunstock (yes, I have been there), opening mid December to mid March is probably an excellent cost saving idea, having NOTHING to do with the ACA except they want that as an excuse.

        I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose....AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

        by Lilyvt on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 06:10:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  How do you know this? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neuroptimalian, VClib, nextstep
    Now we know this is absolute BS and these business owners just don't want to do the right thing by their employees.
    Do you think that requiring employers to provide health insurance for employees does NOT make it more expensive for an employer to operate?  
    •  Let me take a guess. It might be the math. Both (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stunvegas, UntimelyRippd

      of the time periods mentioned are under 90 days in length, let alone 119 days. If this was not something that was more convenient for the owner, he would at least strecth it out to the point of maximum profit.

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 03:39:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Math is the point. This is the incentive Congress (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Neuroptimalian, VClib

        wrote into the law.  At 120 days, each employee becomes more expensive.  So once a particular employee works that 120th day in a calendar year (they DON'T have to be consecutive days, if you that's what you are pointing out) that extra day makes each one of the prior days more expensive.  So, sure, this business has a financial incentive not to have any single employee work more than 120 days in a calendar year.  I don't know how that business is staffed, but if schedules can't be juggled to make that happen without reducing the total number of days open, and if the extra days around the margins don't bring in enough profit to make up for those extra costs, that's a rational financial decision for a business owner to make.  I don't know if that is the case without doing the math, and I can't imagine you do, either.  

        It's the same kind of provision that tells employers, if you have a part time employee, don't let him work over 29 hours a week, because that 30th hour makes each of the prior hours more expensive.   If you are in Congress, and you write that into the law, you can't then pretend to be "shocked" when a business says, "Hmm, if this employee works that extra hour, it makes that employee a significantly higher expense, so I'd better keep him under 30 hours."  

        When Congress writes those kinds of perverse financial incentives into the law, you can't blame a business owner for changing the behavior of the business because of those financial incentives that Congress wrote into the law.  Congress has to EXPECT that when they write a clear financial incentive like that into the law, that a lot business owners who aren't stupid are going do what Congress gave them the financial incentive to do.  

        When you are a seasonal business, you have to evaluate whether that 120th day in the calendar year is worth it to make each of the prior 119 days more expensive.  Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't -- that's a decision each business owner has to make for their business.  

        My point is that you can't say that a financial incentive that Congress specifically wrote into the law is "BS." It's the law that is poorly written -- and for that, the blame goes to Congress.  

        •  Remarkably, not one word of what you wrote is (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sharman, chigh, allensl

          a rebuttal to the comment to which you are responding.

          Well, okay, I lied.
          There's nothing remarkable about that at all.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 04:08:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  See my comment below to address the numbers (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Neuroptimalian, VClib

            if that is what you are referring to.

            The fact that the resort would be "open" more than 120 days does not in any way mean that any individual employee works more than 120 days, unless that employee  works seven days a week for 17 weeks straight without a day off.

            •  You continue to fail to respond. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              allensl

              Either you simply do not grasp what was said to you, or you do not care.

              What happened here was that somebody pointed out that the resort owner was obviously lying.

              In your oh-so-very-imitable fashion, you wondered how anybody could know that the resort owner was obviously lying.

              In response to which, oldpotsmuggler pointed out that the resort owner was claiming he might have to truncate each of his two operating seasons, running the winter season from Christmas to mid-march, and the summer season from July 4th to Labor Day. Except that July 4th to Labor Day is only 2 months. Nothing in this law would cause him any difficulties if he ran his summer season from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and his winter season from the first weekend in December to the last weekend in March.

              In other words: He's a liar. And you are his apologist, his abettor, his interpreter, his defender: As you always are, standing proudly up in your calm rational defiance of anybody else's moral outrage.

              Do you really not have anything better to do than to wander around in here spreading FUD like so much toxic sludge, in defense of the morally indefensible?

              To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

              by UntimelyRippd on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 07:06:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I read "120 consecutive days or longer" because (0+ / 0-)

          that's what's written. And taking the math your way doesn't make any sense anyway because the combined total is far more than 120 days.

          The remedy for the "problem" you are addressing would certainly seem to be to replace all workers at the end of 119 days of employment. If one assumes that there is no required skill level...

          There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

          by oldpotsmuggler on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 04:12:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The "combined total" of days open is not (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Neuroptimalian, Calamity Jean, VClib

            what matters.  It's whether an individual employee works more than 120 days.  So, if the Resort is open, say, 17 weeks, that is a total of 119 days open.  An employee who works all 17 weeks, 7 days a week, with no days off, would work 119 days.  But an employee who works five days a week would only work 85 total days.  If an employee works five days a week, it would take 24 weeks -- or 168 days of the resort being open -- for that employee to reach 120 days of work during that calendar year.  

            And the numbers can further be adjusted if, for example, the first two weeks and the last two weeks are less busy, so the resort might not be fully staffed.

            That's the kind of calculation the business owner would do.  Which is why I said I don't know the validity of what he's saying without seeing the staffing and the resort's financial data.  

        •  Write your own diary. (0+ / 0-)

          At this point you are hijacking.

        •  This is not correct (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kamarvt, gramofsam1

          For the reasons I discuss below, a "seasonal employee"--which is defined as a " position for which the customary annual employment is six months or less" does not have to be offered insurance.

          What it could possibly do is cause the employer to become an applicable large employer if it hires a large proportion of seasonal workers (which is defined differently than seasonal employee).  In such case, the employer has to offer coverage to the non-seasonal, full-time employees.  However, that is not what the GM of Gunstock appears to be complaining about.

          "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

          by Old Left Good Left on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 07:10:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ^^^^^THIS^^^^^ (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gramofsam1, Lilyvt

            thank you.
            I've scrolled through enough nonsense.

            I work in this industry. The owner of Gunstock is full of shit.

            Seasonal employees are exempt from all kinds of workplace protections (though not worker's comp). The laws have been tailored to make it possible for large operations to hire hundreds of skilled workers and lay them off every spring with no responsibility toward them.
            All ski areas have expenses that far outstrip their labor costs; things like the electric bill for running lifts and making snow, and insurance to operate a recreational facility with the potential to maim and kill its customers.
            Those two things fixed expenses. So are leases for grooming machines, compressors, and more.
            Those costs will not go down with a shorter season. The expensive manmade snow will not store itself for next winter; it will melt whether there are paying customers sliding on it or not.

            There is little profit to be made in the 'shoulder season' before Christmas and after March; that is the time resorts cut operations and hope there's enough to entice a few off season customers. however, Gunstock and other small areas lose most of this to the big boys like Killington, which always pushes the length of the season well into May.
            Gunstock is a small area in southern NH. It doesn't have a long season because it lacks the latitude or elevation to create dependable snow for one. Dec 1 to April 1 is about as long a season as they can realistically get on a regular basis. anyone who works every day for those four months, outside in the winter weather, should damn well be paid handsomely for that work. But that doesn't happen; ski resorts are loathe to pay overtime, too.
            So I repeat; the owner of Gunstock is full of shit.

            Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

            by kamarvt on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 04:37:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Bullshit (0+ / 0-)

    Under the optional look-back method of determining what employees must be offered insurance under the ACA, seasonal employees are excluded.

    "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

    by Old Left Good Left on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 03:58:23 PM PDT

    •  Seasonal workers are defined (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, Neuroptimalian

      As FTE no more than 120 days.  

      •  Nope (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gramofsam1

        You're confusing "seasonal employee" and "seasonal worker."

        Treas. Reg. § 54.4980H-1(a)(38):

        Seasonal employee. The term seasonal employee means an employee who is hired into a position for which the customary annual employment is six months or less.
        A seasonal employee does not have to be offered coverage during the initial measurement period, even if the seasonal employee is full-time.  See Treas. Reg. § 54.4980H-3(d)(5) Example 11.

        If the employer selects a 12-month stability and standard measurement period (which is typical), the seasonal employee will not be full-time employee when she returns to work the next season.  For example, assume a ski instructor works 50 hours a week for 26 weeks.  Her average for a 12-month year is only 25 hours per year, so she is not a full-time employee. See Treas. Reg. § 54.4980H-3(d)(3)(iv) and (4)(i).

        The regulations also use the term "seasonal worker" (as opposed to "seasonal employee"), but for a different purpose.  Certain seasonal workers are FTEs only for purposes of determining if an employer is an applicable larger employer--i.e., if the employer has more than 50 FTEs.  But even if the seasonal workers cause an employer to be an applicable large employer (and thus subject to the pay or play penalties), the employer does not have to offer insurance to seasonal employees, since they are not FTEs for penalty purposes.

        "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

        by Old Left Good Left on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 07:02:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yup.... (0+ / 0-)

          I taught skiing for a number of years, I was a seasonal employee, definitely not a FTE, and the question of my being covered with the ski areas health insurance never, ever came up.  I had another job I worked at night which covered my insurance.
          I returned year after year, worked 6 days a week from early December (once or twice as early as Thanksgiving) to the end of March (sometimes into April).  
          Just as an addenda, it was one of the best jobs I ever had and the company was terrific.

          I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose....AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

          by Lilyvt on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 06:46:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'm assuming Ayotte or this ski person provided (0+ / 0-)

    the research and/or numbers to back up this claim?

    Because I'm actually curious as to exactly how much it would cost to provide those employes with the minimum level of health coverage that may be required by the ACA.

    Versus the fines for not doing so.

    Versus the purported losses incurred by a shortened season.

    Signature (this will be attached to your comments)

    by here4tehbeer on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 04:40:03 PM PDT

    •  Those are all good questions (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, Neuroptimalian

      And exactly the kind of questions that would need to be answered before someone proclaimed that this person was either telling the truth or whether, as the diarist claimed,

      Now we know this is absolute BS and these business owners just don't want to do the right thing by their employees.
      The math most likely is going to be different for different businesses.  And the determination of whether it makes more sense to take on the extra expense and stay open the extra time, or whether the profits on the extra time open are not enough to offset the extra expense.  
      •  I remember a couple conversations with clients (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PinHole

        over the years about how purchasing 1100 of a thing can sometimes cost them less than purchasing 1000.

        One client was like "Hell yeah, do it - we can either sell more or just have spares and replacements if needed." -- the other was "Absolutely not - I ordered 1000, I'm paying for 1000, end of discussion."

        Short-sighted bastard would not budge either.

        Most of us came through a time when different companies would compete for employees by offering better benefits.

        Then came "shareholder value" - which pretty much kicked "employee value" right out into the street.

        Signature (this will be attached to your comments)

        by here4tehbeer on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 05:47:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Successful businesses necessarily must be (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib

          about shareholder value.  That is the primary reason for the existence of a for-profit business.  Few people would start, or invest in, a business if there was not a potential for a sufficient return on that investment.  

          And the "value" of employees is something that any successful business owner has to take into account.  That is reflected most obviously in how much to pay someone.  The more valuable that employee is to the business, the more that employee will be paid.  It's just that, in a for-profit business, employee value necessarily is measured by (1) how that employee helps to increase the profits of a business, AND (2) how much it would cost (in salary for a replacement, business disruption, lost institutional knowledge, etc.) if that employee were to leave.  It still s a fact that businesses must compete for certain employees -- those that bring the most value to the business.  

          A business owner must be able to assess employee value if he is going to be able to increase shareholder value.  But that kind of assessment is going to be different for different businesses and different employees.  

          And without details, we don't know if, in this particular instance, those running that resort are making a good financial decision or not.  

  •  Nobody likes to be threatened (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northerntier

    It is the old chicken and egg thing.

    This jerk threatens to treat his workers like cannon fodder so we should all threaten him with avoiding his ski slopes.

    •  Yup.... (0+ / 0-)
      This jerk threatens to treat his workers like cannon fodder so we should all threaten him with avoiding his ski slopes
      There are quite a few other ski areas in the southern NH/southern VT vicinity, many a very short drive away from this particular one.  
      Why give your money to an a** who lies and treats his employees like dirt?

      I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose....AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

      by Lilyvt on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 06:51:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There are many better places to ski. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nocynicism, PinHole, northerntier, Lilyvt
    •  might I suggest Mad River Glen? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lilyvt, LamontCranston

      owned by a coop of skiers who love the place and didn't want to see it developed.
      Doesn't make snow, has only four old, slow lifts and minimal grooming, so a smaller carbon footprint than most.
      Cheapest lift tickets of any large mountain in New England.
      Real, not kitchy, New England charm
      Some of the gnarliest steeps and trees anywhere.
      Oh, sorry snowboarders; skiers only.

      and no, I don't work there :)

      Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

      by kamarvt on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 04:43:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yup.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LamontCranston, kamarvt

        Couldn't agree more.
        Mad River Glen....ski it if you can.
        My Dad's favorite from way back in the day, not my Mom's cuppa, and it was far too tough for my brother and me when we were kids.
        We both (my brother and I) learned to love it for it's toughness and its very Vermont-ness.  Thank you, Dad!
        Fast forward, my brother still loves it, he's a ski demon, but for me, I'm a geez and love nothing more than the wide slopes and the afternoon sun at Bromley!

        I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose....AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

        by Lilyvt on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 07:03:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I cut my teeth there when I grew up learning how (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kamarvt

        ski and believe me, when they say "Ski It If You Can", it's the truth.

        I am glad they kept the single chair running to this day!

        “My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there." - Rumi

        by LamontCranston on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 07:43:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "Ski it if you can, Mad River Glen" (0+ / 0-)

        I have some found memories skiing there when I was in high school many years ago. I'll have to make it there next winter.  
        My brother and I loved the "steep".

  •  Anyone ask this owner just how great his profits (0+ / 0-)

    were this very snow heavy winter were?

    Probably the best in a long time.

    No time for greed.  Suck it up buddy, or get out of the ski industry altogether.

    “My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there." - Rumi

    by LamontCranston on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 07:40:49 AM PDT

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