Cutting Hours to Cut Cost, Local Restaurateur Concerned

By Stephanie Parkinson

October 11, 2012 Updated Oct 11, 2012 at 6:08 PM EDT

New Haven, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - A major national restaurant chain's idea to limit employees hours, to avoid paying healthcare costs, is concerning owners of one local restaurant chain.

Under the new Affordable Health Care act an employee is considered full time if they work more than 32.5 hours a week. Cutting back on hours allows businesses to avoid paying health insurance for employees.

The national chain that owns Olive Garden and Red Lobster is testing out the new concept. Wednesday they announced they're looking into having fewer full time workers and more part time employees. It’s an idea that isn't sitting well with owners of a local restaurant chain who are in the same predicament, trying to comply with the new Affordable Health Care Act.

Bud Hall, of Don Hall's Restaurants, says he couldn't imagine cutting back hours as being his solution.

"You have certain obligations as an employer when you're dealing with these kinds of things. As far as cutting the hours, to dodge some federal regulation, I can't do it, morally it's wrong," said Bud Hall, Don Hall's Restaurants.

Although Hall doesn’t think cutting hours is the solution he says he has no idea how to provide affordable healthcare to his employees.

Hall says he still has many questions about the Affordable Health Care Act. He's unsure how he would collect premiums since many of his employees make their income primarily off tips.

Hall says he wants to provide his employees with affordable health care, but he just doesn't know how to do that.

The federal mandate requires businesses to start providing insurance in January.

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