Health State & National News

Well, well, Olive Garden is not laying off workers because Obama won. LOL

December 7, 2012

In October, Fox News reported that a second Obama term would guarantee the president’s health care law will be fully implemented. It said Darden Restaurants, which owns Red Lobster, Olive Garde and LongHorn Steakhouse, would have to layoff workers or shift to more part-time employees to avoid the Affordable Healthcare Act.

Well, that isn’t going to happen according to statement released yesterday by the Orlando-based restaurant group:

None of Darden’s current full-time employees, hourly or salaried, will have their full-time status changed as a result of healthcare reform.

Each of Darden’s new and existing restaurants will have full-time hourly employees because that is what it takes to fully deliver the experiences guests expect.

In 2014, all of Darden’s full-time employees, including hourly, salaried and executive employees, will have access to the same insurance plan coverage.

Darden Group figured out that full-time employees are key to its success.

“Although our workforce historically has been heavily part-time, we have always had a significant number of full-time employees and they are integral to our success,” Darden Chairman and CEO Clarence Otis commented. “The data we have collected during our test around guest satisfaction and employee engagement has only reinforced this. As we think about healthcare reform, while many of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s rules and regulations have yet to be finalized, we are pleased we know enough at this point to make firm and hopefully reassuring commitments to our full-time employees.”

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  • EPenn December 11, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    As long as my insurance company uses 80% of my premiums on my health costs, I guess it may go up… (thats part of the law too)… I will tell you now that my premiums have been going up since well into the Bush years, and now that they are required to use 80% on my health care or refund me (or my employer) the difference, I have been getting all kinds of mailers from them encouraging me to enroll in all kinds of ‘free’ medical systems… (from nurses on call 24hr a day to answer medical questions to weight loss plans/dieticians)… Believe me they don’t want to hand out any refunds… lol

  • Moose December 11, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Exactly, Rob. How funny is it that all of the supporters of Obama and PPACA bashed the insurance companies for rate increases when, in effect, this is a rate increase that will be added to the cost of their individual and group health insurance, which will also likely have a rate increase? This rate increase will be collected by HHS and then given to the insurance companies (who the liberals despise) so that they can afford to cover the cost increases anticipated by bringing on the higher-risk clientele. That’s interesting since Obama said it wouldn’t cost anyone “one dime.” I guess he was right. It will cost you either the penalty on your income taxes or the cost of the insurance policy plus the $63 on top of that. They haven’t taken one action that will reduce the cost of medical care which is the underlying reason health insurance has been increasing each year by double digits. I hope everyone likes their “”free” healthcare”.

  • Rob December 10, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Surprise, a new fee!

    http://www.pnj.com/viewart/20121210/NEWS03/121210012/Surprise-New-63-per-head-fee-health-overhaul-law?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

  • Moose December 10, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Ames, unfortunately, that is not correct. The ACA does drive up costs for employers by expanding coverage to more employees and for some employers (not Darden) require shorter qualifying/waiting periods. On the surface, that sounds great. However, if the business is supported primarily by part-time staff because they are seasonal or the downturn in the economy reduced their income, the part-time employees would be considered full-time equivalents and the business might have to pay a penalty for them to access health insurance elsewhere. From the standpoint of a business that was just trying to keep the benefits available to as many of their employees as possible in light of a dismal economy, those requirements will probably mean the entire health plan for their employees will inevitably be canned. So even if they do offer health insurance the business could be penalized. It probably won’t hurt companies like Darden. You know, the Fortune 500 companies traded on Wall Street. But, it will hurt the smaller 50-200 size employers that make up a bulk of the businesses in the US. Those businesses reduced their health benefits prior to ACA just to keep the plans as affordable as possible to the business and the employees. They aren’t as highly capitalized and don’t have the economy of scale to partially absorb those costs. In the end, the businesses don’t suffer, the employees do. Most of whom are probably lower and middle class workers.

    Gee, Evan. Anything’s possible when you don’t know what you are talking about.

  • Rob December 10, 2012 at 6:47 am

    No penalty except the tax for offering too good of a plan to employees. A tax that with the employer paid premiums costs more than the fine they would pay to not provide an insurance plan. That benefit package doesn’t look so good anymore.

    Not to mention the extra HR cost to figure out what the ACA requirements are as the gov’t seems to change those with the same openness as passing the bill.

  • Evan Johns December 8, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Gee Ames, injecting truth is no way to talk with a Tea Partier.

  • Ames December 7, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    There is no penalty unless they don’t offer health care benefits.

  • Moose December 7, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Rick, I guess they were wrong. I’m sure we can expect that Darden will just absorb the penalties because there is absolutely no other way for them recoup any costs of the ACA. LOL.