A Taco Bell in Guthrie, Oklahoma is cutting all its restaurant workers’ hours to part-time in order to skirt federal law requiring them to provide health insurance for employees.
Nearly 20 employees work for this particular Taco Bell franchise. They were informed just before Christmas that everyone’s hours would be cut to 28 hours or less per week because the owners disliked the Obamacare requirement that large companies had to help provide health coverage for workers.
Among those employees affected is Johnna Davis, a single mother of three who relied on her full-time hours to support her family. News 9 has more on her struggle:
Johnna Davis has worked at the Taco Bell in Guthrie since September. She’s seen a 200 dollar cut in her paycheck since a new store policy went into effect.
“What we were being told was one thing, and that was, ‘we’re going to offer benefits, we’ll just keep all of our full time employees and then come December, their whole story changed,” Johnna Davis said. [...]
Now this single mother of 3 is looking for a new full-time job. Nearly 20 employees their have seen their hours cut.
The Guthrie restaurant is owned by a Missouri-based company named Treadwell Enterprises, which told News 9 that it would allow supervisors and managers to work full-time, but not workers.
Taco Bell is not a struggling brand scraping by to make ends meet. The company saw a banner year in 2012, with its parent corporation enjoying a 73 percent jump in profits in the beginning of the year and an additional 23 percent increase later in the year.
Other restaurants have attempted this ill-conceived move as well. This fall, when a Denny’s franchise announced it would cut its workers’ hours to avoid the health care law, the corporate office distanced itself from the move. Similarly, when Darden Restaurants, which includes Olive Garden and Red Lobster, looked to cut hours, the public backlash resulted in a hasty 37 percent drop in profits. Other restaurants have attempted (and mostly retracted) the same ploy, including Papa John’s and Wendy’s.
Call for comment from Taco Bell’s corporate offices was not immediately returned.