Restaurant Franchise Owners Seek ObamaCare Relief in Washington

| September 18 2013
Christopher Cook

More Obamacare chaos:

Franchise restaurant owners have come to Washington seeking a change to ObamaCare that they say could prevent them from having to cut their employees’ hours.

The healthcare law requires large employers to provide insurance to employees who work at least 30 hours per week.

Franchise owners say the employer mandate threatens to erase their narrow profit margins and are telling lawmakers they need to overhaul the law before it’s too late.

“Employees won’t have the hours they need, and they won’t get employer-sponsored healthcare, either,” said Steve Caldeira, president and CEO of the International Franchise Association (IFA).

“[Franchisees] are dealing with high commodity costs, high energy prices, higher taxes from the ‘fiscal-cliff’ deal, and now they are trying to work through ObamaCare,” he said.

More than 300 members of the franchise association are making the rounds on Capitol Hill to lobby for the ObamaCare changes. Monday’s visitors included IFA members from Mr. Rooter, McDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts.

Their top priority is a trio of bills that would increase the law’s definition of full-time employee to 40 hours per week. Members of the IFA have been instructed to ask lawmakers whether they will co-sponsor legislation “to give employers and employees relief from burdensome employer regulations?”

Bills supported by the IFA include the Save American Workers Act, sponsored by Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.), and the Forty Hours is Full Time Act, offered in the House by Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.) and in the Senate by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.).

The franchise trade group has also launched a website, 40hoursisfulltime.com, to encourage visitors to lobby their lawmakers on the full-time threshold . . . keep reading

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