The Affordable Care Act requires companies with over fifty employees to provide health insurance for those who work more than 30 hours a week. In order to get around the federal mandate, office-supply chain Staples has cut the hours of part-time store associates, capping their weekly work time at 25 hours.
President Obama, for one, is not happy about it and publicly criticized the company on Tuesday for being a multi-billion dollar business that doesn’t want to provide insurance for it’s most financially vulnerable workers.
“It’s one thing when you’ve got a mom-and-pop store who can’t afford to provide paid sick leave or health insurance or minimum wage to workers”, Obama said. “But when I hear large corporations that make billions of dollars in profits trying to blame our interest in providing health insurance as an excuse for cutting back workers’ wages, shame on them.”
In 2013, the salary of Staples CEO Ron Sargent was a cool $10.8 million.
Staples justified their 25 hour per week policy by pointing out that it’s been in place since before the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010. A spokesman from the company noted that, “(i)t’s unfortunate that the president is attacking a company that provides more than 85,000 jobs and is a major tax payer.”
While Staples’ policy of capping part-time hours started in the early 2000’s, only recently have notices like this one obtained by BuzzFeed been circulating in stores throughout the country: