Restaurant Chain Owner Backs Down, Won't Cut Employee Hours Over Health Law

The owner of Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants backed off threats to cut employee hours to part time, which would have allowed the company to avoid offering health insurance to workers.

The Hill: Restaurant Chains Ditch Plans to Cut Workers' Hours In Response To Health Law
The company that owns the Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants backed down Thursday from its plan to cut employees' hours in response to President Obama's health care law. Darden Restaurants -- one of several restaurant firms embroiled in political controversy over employees' health care benefits -- said Thursday it will not follow through with plans to cut workers' hours. The move is a big win for the Obama administration and supporters of the health care law, who have defended the employer mandate to provide health coverage against criticism from Darden, Papa John's Pizza and other companies that rely heavily on hourly workers (Baker, 12/6).

Politico Pro: Darden Says It Won't Cut Worker Hours Under Health Law
After taking heat for suggesting it would cut restaurant workers' hours to avoid having to give them health insurance under Obamacare, Darden restaurants announced a change of heart Thursday: It won't switch anyone's status to part time. The restaurant chain also said it will offer all full-time employees -- whether they're hourly workers or executives -- access to the same health plans. "None of Darden's current full-time employees, hourly or salaried, will have their full-time status changed as a result of health care reform," it said in a statement describing policy through 2014. "In 2014, all of Darden’s full-time employees, including hourly, salaried and executive employees, will have access to the same insurance plan coverage" (Kenen, 12/6).

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