How Obamacare is affecting some part-time jobs

5:54 PM, Sep 25, 2013   |    comments
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MEDINA -- Jansen Wehrley is the arborist for the city of Medina. He and a part-time worker are responsible for maintaining the city's 14,000 trees. It's a big job, and it just got harder.

"In April we lost our part-time employee because of the hour reduction to 29 hours, and it's made it extremely difficult for us to find a replacement," Wehrley says.

The Affordable Care Act or ACA requires businesses provide health insurance to any part-timer working more than 30 hours a week. 

Penalties kick in in 2015, but many cities are already planning for the inevitable and cutting part-time hours to under 30.   

The website www.investor.com has been tracking businesses that have been cutting back, including several in Ohio.  

Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell didn't want to have to cut back but says economically the city didn't have much choice.

"We have between 120 and 140 full-time employees and about 65 part time so that's like half again, I'm spending $2 million dollars on healthcare for the full-time employees I didn't have another million for the part-timers," Hanwell says.

Other cities, including Westlake, have also cut back part time hours.  

Several schools have limited the number of hours part-time professors can work as well, including University of Akron, Baldwin-Wallace and several others.

Unfortunately, some businesses are learning you get what you pay for.  

Wal-Mart watched customer service and sales decline and Monday decided to make 35,000 part timers full time with benefits.  

They had been trying to avoid Obamacare requirements. The company also announced it will hire 55,000 part-time holiday workers to help service. That's up 5,000 from last year.

Cities like Medina are noticing an impact too.

 

"The sad part of it is now we have 35-hour folks who can't live on 29 hours and they're leaving the city, we've lost numerous employees, good employees, as a result of it and it's just hard to attract quality candidates," Hanwell says.

 

 

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