The new normal workweek: 28 to 29.5 hours


If you pay attention to your city’s business news, you'll probably see more stories like the one The Orlando Sentinel ran Sunday.

The newspaper reported that Orlando-based Darden Restaurants no longer offers full-time schedules to many hourly workers in at least a few Olive Gardens, Red Lobsters, and LongHorn Steakhouses.

The “Affordable Care” Act, aka Obamacare, stipulates that large companies will face heavy fines unless they provide “affordable” health insurance to employees working an average of at least 30 hours per week.

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Even those who aren’t rocket scientists can figure out the next step: Make sure most employees max out at 29.5 hours. The Sentinel reported that Darden, which has 185,000 employees, one-fourth of them full-time, is experimenting with a 28-hour-per-week maximum at some sites.

It also appears that some Olive Gardens are limiting employees to 29.5 hours, and that Darden is eliminating busboy positions at Red Lobster and reducing the number of servers per shift.

Of course, if 29 rather than 40 hours becomes a standard workweek and the amount of work to be done remains the same, unemployment could go down. So what if Americans become poorer? We’ll have more time to visit the doctor—if we can get an appointment.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.


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