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US: Darden Restaurants Avoids healthcare by placing more of its workers on part-time status

Olive Garden/Red Lobster placing more of its workers on part-time status
The breadsticks may be unlimited for Olive Garden customers but the Italian restaurant chain’s owner is not so generous towards its employees. Darden Restaurants, which owns Olive Garden and also Red Lobster, is placing more of its workers on part-time status in an effort to pay less for health care costs required under President Barack Obama’s health care law.
Darden Restaurants has kept details under wraps other than saying it is testing the plan in four U.S. different markets, including central Florida, across the US. The company operates some 2,000 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada and employs about 180,000 people, 75 percent of whom are on part-time status and work for less than thirty hours a week.
Darden, it can be argued, is working hard to work its away around the provisions of the health care law. Under the law, companies with fifty or more workers must provide basic coverage for full-time workers and their dependents or incur fines of up to $3,000 per employee. Such penalties are to be enforced after January 1, 2014.

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