Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz told Reuters on Monday that the company has no intent of cutting back the hours of its workers in anticipation of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). He said,
“Other companies have announced that they won’t provide coverage for spouses; others are lobbying for the cut-off to be at 40 hours. But Starbucks will continue maintaining benefits for partners and won’t use the new law as excuse to cut benefits or lower benefits for its workers,” Schultz said in a telephone interview. [Source]
The Affordable Care Act states that companies with 50 employees are more must offer health insurance to employees who work 30 or more hours a week. Starbucks’ business lends itself to many part time employees. It would be easy for them to loophole themselves out of the law. They have decided to continue doing the right thing. After-all, Starbucks provides health insurance to all their employees who work 20 or more hours per week.
For the most part, Starbucks have been a socially responsible corporation. Baristas are eager to tell their customers about the humaneness and the moral responsible stances taken by the company. Starbucks states at their site that
We have always believed Starbucks can – and should — have a positive impact on the communities it serves. One person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time. [Source]
They preach community, ethical sourcing of their products, environmental footprint minimization, and global responsibility. Their support for the well-being of their employees is probative.
Starbucks’ stance is in stark contrast to companies like UPS and Papa John’s who have blamed the law for reduced health benefits, potential job losses, and potential store closings. Some small and medium sized businesses are keeping their headcount under 50 and/or their workers under 30 hours to skirt the law. Most corporations will simply fit the new law into their business model as they understand it is the moral thing to do.
It is time for the companies that intend to expand their benefits or companies that do not intend to go through hoops to penalize their employees by denying them the ability to get affordable healthcare through the company, to speak up. It is time for Americans to know which corporations are with the working middle class and which corporations are against the working middle class.