Dunkin' Brands lobbying to redefine 'full-time' employee in response to Obamacare

Feb. 20, 2013

Dunkin' Brands CEO Nigel Travis told the Financial Times this week that his company is lobbying to redefine "full-time" employee status before certain Obamacare stipulations go into effect.

As it's written now, the health care law will mandate that businesses with more than 50 employees cover health care costs for those working at least 30 hours a week. Travis said Dunkin' Brands, parent company of Baskin-Robbins and Dunkin' Donuts, is lobbying to have "full time" changed to mean at least 40 hours a week.

Meanwhile, some companies are exploring other ways to get around paying the extra costs for coverage, including cutting back employees' hours or laying off staff. A Wendy's franchisee and a Taco Bell franchisee have both explored the former option.

Kroger's CEO told the Financial Times that it also may be cheaper to pay a government penalty than to provide insurance. The penalty for not providing coverage is $2,000 per worker. According to the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation, the average annual cost to employers of insurance is $4,664 for a single employee and $11,429 for a family.

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Topics: Insurance / Risk Management , Operations Management , Policy / Legislation , Staffing & Training

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