Add White Castle to the list of employers cutting staff and hours because of Obamacare.
The fast food restaurant best known for its small, square burgers and role in the 2004 movie “Harold and Kumar go to White Castle,” is considering only hiring part-time workers because of the costs associated with President Obama’s signature legislative act.
White Castle currently employs 9,600 workers nationwide, about half of which are full-time employees. The company will not take away hours or benefits from them, however, according to White Castle Vice President Jamie Richardson.
“If we were to keep our health insurance program exactly like it is with no changes, every forecast we’ve looked at has indicated our costs will go up 24 percent,” Richardson told National Public Radio.
White Castle is just the latest food business to change its benefits policies as a result of the law. Wisconsin supermarket chain Trig’s is cutting the hours for its part-time workers to avoid going bankrupt paying for the benefits mandated in the new law.
“Doing nothing was not an option,” Angie Dreifuerst, the Vice President of Human Resources and Benefits at Trig’s, told NBC affiliate WJFW. “It would have put us out of business, within a year.”
A CiCi’s Pizza franchise owner in Texas ended up selling his three profitable restaurants in anticipation of the mandate’s implementation, and supermarket chain Wegmans is dropping health insurance for all of its part-time employees as well.
The Obama administration announced earlier this month it would seek a delay in the implementation of the employer mandate an extra year for companies with more than 50 employees, while the House passed a bill last week seeking to overturn the mandate in its entirety. Obama threatened to veto that bill should it come to his desk.