Obamacare Is Coming: Forever 21 Slashes Workers’ Hours
Alicia M. Cohn /
The clothing chain Forever 21 is the latest company cutting full-time workers’ hours.
A leaked memo shared last week on social media with the hashtag #Never21 proves the company capped some full-time workers at 29.5 hours a week as of August 18, resulting in a loss of the health coverage and other benefits offered to full-time workers.
Conservatives have warned that the provision under Obamacare defining a full-time worker as one who works 30 hours a week or more incentivizes businesses to drastically cut workers’ hours to avoid the heavy financial burden of mandatory insurance requirements under the bill.
Forever 21 joins several fast food chains that have cut workers’ hours to less than 30 in the past few months, ahead of the provision taking effect.
Many companies deny that the decision is motivated by the new requirements, in part because of backlash from customers who blame corporate greed rather than crippling government regulations. Over the weekend, Forever 21 fielded customer complaints posted on its official Facebook page by emphasizing that it is struggling to balance business needs with concern for employees.
“Forever 21, like all retailers, staffs its stores based on projected store sales, completely independent of the Affordable Care Act,” the company posted. “After a recent evaluation, Forever 21 realigned its staffing needs to better reflect sales expectations. This realignment impacted less than 1 percent of all U.S. store employees.”