Dunkin' Brands Lobbying Against Key Obamacare Provision: Report

COMMERCIAL IMAGE - In this photograph taken by AP Images for Dunkin' Brands, Dunkin' Brands CEO and Dunkin' Donuts President
COMMERCIAL IMAGE - In this photograph taken by AP Images for Dunkin' Brands, Dunkin' Brands CEO and Dunkin' Donuts President Nigel Travis celebrates the Dunkin' Brands Group Inc.'s IPO with a freshly brewed cup of Dunkin' Donuts coffee at the NASDAQ stock exchange Wednesday, July 27, 2011 in New York. The NASDAQ logo was changed for the first time in history, incorporating the trademark double D's from the Dunkin' Donuts logo. (Gary He/AP Images for Dunkin' Brands)

An iconic American brand has come out against a key Obamacare provision requiring some companies to expand their health insurance coverage.

Dunkin' Brands is lobbying the government to change their definition of full-time work from at least 30 hours per week to 40 or more hours per week, their CEO Nigel Travis has told the Financial Times. Successfully doing so would mean Dunkin' and other companies would have fewer workers to insure under President Barack Obama's health care reform law, which mandates that big employers give health care coverage to all full-time employees and their dependents, or face a penalty.

Dunkin' Brands did not respond immediately to a phone call requesting comment.

In response to the Obamacare mandate, which applies to all employers with at least 50 full-time workers, numerous firms have said they would cut their employee hours to avoid paying for their health care coverage. A majority of companies expect their health care costs to rise because of Obamacare and plan to shift health care costs to employees in response, according to a survey last year by Mercer.

A Wendy's franchisee in Omaha, Neb. has said he will reduce all non-management employees' hours to 28 hours per week to sidestep Obamacare, WOWT NBC reported in January. A Taco Bell franchise in Guthrie, Okla., cut its employees' hours to 28 hours or less per week to skirt Obamacare, News 9 reported in January. And a Denny's restaurant owner in West Palm Beach, Fla., plans to reduce employees' hours in response to Obamacare, The Huffington Post reported in November.

In response to Obamacare, Darden Restaurants, the parent company of Olive Garden and Red Lobster, tested making some workers part-time last year, according to the Associated Press. After the move garnered bad publicity, the chain decided not to make full-time workers part-time, but has not ruled out a broader shift toward part-time work, according to the AP.



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