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Businesses cut workers' hours

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Updated: 8/19/2013 11:43 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- From large corporations to small mom-and-pop businesses, the Affordable Care Act will soon affect every kind of company and all their employees.

"It has probably been the greatest challenge I've had as a small business owner," says Ann Freeman, President of River City Security Services.

Some weeks, Freeman spends nearly 30 hours meeting with CPAs, attorneys and insurance companies, and then tries to explain the new law to her employees.

"We're trying to be as transparent as we can be but the truth is we don't know exactly how it's going to impact us in the future."
The great unknown, as Freeman calls it, has sparked a trend of companies taking action now to save their bottom line later.

This week, retail giant Forever 21 cut some employees hours to 29.5 a week which is 30 minutes shy of the new ACA requirement to provide full timers with coverage.

A company spokesperson sent Action News the following statement Monday:
Forever 21, like all retailers, staffs its stores based on projected store sales, completely independent of the Affordable Care Act. After a recent evaluation, Forever 21 realigned its staffing needs to better reflect sales expectations. This realignment impacted 196 employees, less than 1% of all U.S. store employees. Furthermore, Forever 21 regularly promotes and converts employees in the ordinary course of business. Since the start of our fiscal year, March 1, 2013, Forever 21 has converted 421 part-time store employees to full-time status making them benefits eligible. Forever 21 values all of its employees and made every effort to affect as few employees as possible in this realignment.

Even though the company says the change to employees hours wasn't prompted by the new health care law, Freeman worries cuts like that could become regular news.

"It's the harsh reality of who is going to pay for the 30 million people who are uninsured who are now supposedly going to get insurance?"

Freeman says she's planning ahead as much as possible to avoid cuts to her own staff, but says her business practices have already changed as result of the Affordable Care Act.

"We're being very particular about the sort of business we go after. We've always been selective but never because of health insurance."
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

wishmistress - 8/21/2013 2:09 PM
0 Votes
@ j.....perhaps you should follow your own advice, since you obviously cannot read. All your comments seem to be racially motivated...against whites, mostly. Maybe you should spend more time enjoying life, rather than condemning everyone who disagrees with you. My comments are usually on 'the story', where you seem to want only to bash those who comment. I'm done here. Peace.

jaxfldon - 8/21/2013 12:47 PM
0 Votes
@whismistress (yes i know) you say you don't have time to read every post but i guess you have plenty of time to make comments....hmmm seems like the only exercise people of Jacksonville get is jumping to conclusions. Maybe you should take the time to read more and less time spouting off. "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." words you should live by

nativejax - 8/20/2013 7:22 PM
0 Votes
Get him girl ! Its like talking to stumps.

wishmistress - 8/20/2013 2:31 PM
2 Votes
jaxfldon...apparently I'm not the one who has a problem with big words. (it's WISH...not WHIS.) In any case, I don't have time to read everything online, so maybe you could copy/paste the parts where the article says the employees were chained to their sewing machines?

jaxfldon - 8/20/2013 1:27 PM
0 Votes
@ whismistress, there is a difference between profit and greed. If you take the time to read the article that i posted (get help with the big words if you need it) you would have noticed....an unusual number of labor complaints, that the company "systematically failed to pay them for hours worked",making them work off the clock and denying meal breaks, paid employees 12 cents a piece to sew vests(not in a third world country but here in the U.S.) It would take 67 vests an hour to earn $8 minimum wage.(that's one vest per 9 seconds) Forever 21 has faced more than 50 copyright lawsuits for allegedly stealing the work of designers. So it's not just about a company being profitable, it's about GREED.

wishmistress - 8/20/2013 12:41 PM
1 Vote
Wow, a business that wants to profit? Say it's not so, jaxfldon? ......... Also, ivscott, if this insurance is wonderful, why is Congress begging out? Have you checked on the number of companies/organizations that DEMAND to be kept out? Guess why? THEY SAID THEY CANT AFFORD IT! Really? Go figure. They can't, but we CAN?

jaxfldon - 8/20/2013 12:31 PM
0 Votes
For all those that are blaming Obamacare for this company's business decision should take a look at this article. http://www.businessinsider.com/the-secret-behind-forever-21s-dirt-cheap-clothing-2012-2 This is just an attempt to keep more profits for themselves.

nativejax - 8/20/2013 9:03 AM
1 Vote
Ivscott57, what the media will not tell you is that, only HIGH payed employee's at HIGH paying jobs, will be able to afford the Insurance provided by their companies.. The rest us middle class, will have to find our own and we absolutely WILL NOT be able to afford it, just as most can't now. This OBamacare was passed WITHOUT the anyone really knowing whats in it, its being FORCED on the us, and should be defunded.

osprey1 - 8/20/2013 8:35 AM
1 Vote
This company is being honest with the public and the Obama administration knew this was going to happen all the time. The company can't afford to pay the large increase in insurance for there employees and still make a profit. The only thing the company can do is cut the employees hours to under 30 hour work week in order to keep there employees. This won't be the only company to do this, so all you libs enjoy the time you wanted off when you last voted.

joewW07 - 8/20/2013 6:43 AM
2 Votes
"The Affordable Care Act" What a joke!! Obama said we needed it because there was 30 million American's uninsured....Well guess what? There will probably still be over 30 million American's uninsured when it is all said and done. A single person can not get Medicaid, and if they earn less than $11,500 a year(which is equal to a part time job) you do not qualify for Obamacare. A family of 5 that earns $24,000 a year dose not qualify for Medicaid or Obamacare.. So you see, this is not helping anybody and there will still be millions uninsured
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