I Hate to Say I Told You So, But Retail Sector Full-Time Work At An End

I have to say I told you so, but, from a reader, Staples threatens to fire anyone who works over 25 hours:

Part-time Staples workers are furious that they could be fired for working more than 25 hours a week.

The company implemented the policy to avoid paying benefits under the Affordable Care Act, reports Sapna Maheshwari at Buzzfeed. The healthcare law mandates that workers with more than 30 hours a week receive healthcare.

If Staples doesn't offer benefits, it could be fined $3,000 in penalties per person.

I can tell you from personal experience that $3000 is a staggering penalty.  For a full time worker at $8 an hour, this is over 2 months pay -- 2 months pay extra the company has to pay but the worker never sees.

As I have written before, we have moved heaven and Earth to get every employee we can in our company converted to part-time.  We had absolutely no alternative -- after seeking quotes from about 20 places, no one would offer our company any sort of health insurance plan at any price**.  So no matter what we did, we were facing the $3000 penalty for each full-time workers, so all we could do to manage the situation was convert full-time workers to part-time.


** We have seasonal workers, which makes insuring us awkward and expensive because there are high administrative costs with people constantly going on and off the plan.  We also have a very old work force.  Obamacare prevents insurers from charging the much higher premiums to older people that our costs might justify -- it milks younger people with prices well above their cost to serve to pay for subsidizing older people.  Insurers would be crazy to voluntarily add groups that are purely old people, they would lose their shirt.  So they refuse to quote us.


  1. Rob McMillin:

    "At An And"? Typo, or am I missing a gag somewhere?

  2. mckyj57:

    We are in a similar position on the other end. We need to offer our very skilled workers health care, but cannot find a way to get a plan that is tax-deductible. So we now have to pay for their benefits with after-tax dollars, which are subject to FICA.

    I used to vote for both parties depending on the candidate. Now I cannot see ever voting for a Democrat ever again.

  3. Matthew Slyfield:

    What is it about the plans you can get that makes them not tax deductible?

  4. MNHawk:

    God help us if America is as dumb as the Buzzfeed readership. Those have to be some of the dumbest comments to a story I have ever read.

  5. Nimrod:

    Here's an interesting article that's somewhat related, which includes historical quotes from academic literature to back it up: http://fee.org/freeman/detail/the-eugenics-plot-of-the-minimum-wage

    These days it seems that some people have figured out that the "undesirables" make great political slaves, I.e. People who are kept alive so that they'll vote for the politicians who promise to keep the benefits coming but who are actively inhibited from freeing themselves from government dependency. So it seems that things have evolved from traditional slavery/serfdom, to eugenic extermination, and now to political slavery. And sort of like the Hunger Games, the de facto slaves are mostly not black, though they are intentionally divided and pitted against each other.

  6. irandom419:

    Romney must be greedy, because there is an infinite amount of money for marginal employees.

  7. D. R. Zinn:

    The next step will be to require the same benefits for part-time workers too, to prevent those greedy business owners from doing this.

  8. herdgadfly:

    "Is at an end" or perhaps "is ending" would provide more satisfying sentence structure. We must never, never construct a sentence without a verb. Right or wrong?

  9. Larry Sheldon:

    I read an article that said the GM that allowed anybody to work more than 25 hours would be fired.

  10. Rob McMillin:

    I can spot him that in a headline, where brevity is at a premium.

  11. Rob McMillin:

    I really don't get the sense that the politicians pushing for things like a "living wage" or Obamacare or any of the other progressive folderol are capable of thinking that far ahead. Their only interest is in getting reelected. At that level, politics is really about vote-buying, in one form or another. That the dupes are made worse off by it only rarely occurs to anyone, least of all the supposed beneficiaries.

  12. Rob McMillin:

    Also, it occurs to me that this piece doesn't quite meet the (IMO obvious and likely but still unproven) expectations of the headline. A couple anecdotes do not qualify as data, and I would like to see some real evidence that retail full-time employment has in fact crashed.