Darden, the company that owns such restaurants as Red Lobster and Olive Garden, has said that because of a public backlash, it will not cut its employees to part-time status. The effort was made in an effort to save money because of the new Obamacare requirements.
Large employers will be required to provide employees who work 30 or more hours per week with health insurance beginning in January of 2014. Darden said that it tested one method, such as hiring more part-time workers and replacing full-time employees who left their restaurants with part-time employees in specific markets. The method was used to determine if the company could mitigate the costs, according to the Washington Post.
Clarence Otis, the CEO of Darden, said that the coverage in the media of the trial period was a ‘secondary issue’ that hurt his company’s quarterly statistics. Otis noted that the media coverage “misinterpreted our actions as a stand against health care reform.” Since then, the company announced that it is not going to change the status of its full-time employees to part-time in an effort to get around the Obamacare regulations.
There are roughly 2,000 locations across North America owned by Darden, with close to 1,500 of them Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurants. Darden did say that it is going to scale back a tiny bit on new openings, with just 95 new locations planned for 2013, which is a decrease of about 100 to 110 new locations.