Franchise Owners Plead for Obamacare Relief

Franchise Owners Plead for Obamacare Relief

More than 300 members of the International Franchise Association will lobby Congress this week to seek changes in Obamacare’s employer mandate. 

The Obama administration delayed the employer mandate for a year, but starting in 2015, businesses that employ 50 or more people will have to provide health insurance for employees who work at least 30 hours a week or they will face burdensome fines. 

As The Hill noted, “franchise owners say the employer mandate threatens to erase their narrow profit margins” and adds to the cost per new worker. 

“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), told The Hill. “[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. 

Monday’s visitors to Congress included members from Mr. Rooter, McDonald’s, and Dunkin Donuts, and the IFA “has also launched a website, 40hoursisfulltime.com, to encourage visitors to lobby their lawmakers on the full-time threshold.” They are supporting three bills that would mitigate the impact of Obamacare. 

The Retail Leaders Industry Association (RILA) is also pressuring Congress to make changes, saying Obamacare will burden business by not enabling them to keep consistent schedules. 

“You could have someone come as in an hourly worker. They can work 25 hours one week or 40 hours another week,” said Christine Pollack, RILA’s vice president of government affairs. “It’s requiring stores to fundamentally look at who is working and how much.”

The Chamber of Commerce is also putting pressure on lawmakers to modify Obamacare for businesses. 

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