Since the OBAMACARE was foisted on the citizens of our once great nation, several large employers, ranging from restaurants and fast food establishments to colleges that rely on part time instructors with lots of part-time employees have announced plans to limit their employees to 25 hours per week in response to Obamacare. While they’ve taken a lot of criticism for doing this, it’s worth looking at why Obamacare incentivizes employers to do exactly what they’ve done. In short, they are not taking advantage of a “loophole” — they are simply responding to the law’s requirements and its definition of a “full-time” employee.
The “Affordable Care Act” requires “large” employers – those with 50 or more full-time-equivalent employees – to either provide “qualified” health coverage for all of their full-time employees, or pay an annual penalty of $2,000 per full-time employee (after the first 30) if they don’t provide such coverage. If they do provide coverage but it’s not “affordable,” the penalty is $3,000 per employee who finds it “unaffordable” (with a cap at the penalty they’d pay for not offering coverage at all).
“Full-time” is defined as 30 hours or more per week, or 120 hours or more per month. (“Affordable” is defined as less than 9.5% of the employee’s family income.)
For workers making at or near the minimum wage, there is even less flexibility. The wage cannot be reduced, so the employer’s only option is the reduce work hours to avoid having to pay the penalty.
Economic data for Island County has worsened in the past few years. Our Local Governments claim they have produced jobs but can’t show us where; especially jobs that are not associated with tourism and retailing.
It’s time to change County’s direction and get off that tourism fantasy. Tourism is NOT good for our economy.
Every job created to attract tourism erodes the average worker’s income to sub poverty levels; those jobs do not include the benefits package that full time employees are granted.
This results in more and more citizens being forced to exist on Government funded “CARE” services i.e. the number of citizens riding in the “free government support” wagon increases exponentially and the number of gainfully employed citizens pulling the wagon reduces to the point where the wagon will eventually not to be able to provide the free ride.
The dollars Island County spends to attract tourists are wasted. and ROI values look to be bogus political spin.
Island County needs an improved and a different approach in economic planning.
The majority of the highest paid workers in Island County are employees of tax payer funded jobs, .i.e., County government, NAS Whidbey, education, and hospital /medical support .
WE MUST CHANGE IT.
County’s economic planning needs to establish zoning areas for light manufacturing and industrial kinds of jobs.
Accept the fact that the costs for commuters’ time, money and energy to off island jobs is huge; both to the people commuting, and to the Island’s economy because that commuter disposable income is often spent off island.
Wake up! There’s no free ride with the Government.