Kroger to Slash Hourly Workers to Avoid Obamacare Penalties

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Doug Ross:

Operative Faith reveals that Kroger will soon join the ranks of Durden Restaurants and slash the hours of its non-exempt (hourly) workers to avoid millions in Obamacare penalties.

To give you a sense of Kroger’s size and importance, its sales last year were $90 billion and it employs nearly 350,000 people. Most of its jobs are hourly and the vast majority of workers are neither millionaires or billionaires.

Faith is a mid-level manager at Kroger and reports the dire news:

Last week we found out that, beginning in January, any employee who is not full-time at that point,will be limited to 28 hours per week and all new hires will be subject to the same policy.

Currently, part-time employees can work as many hours as needed.

Many Kroger employees, I believe, will be shocked to find out about this new policy.

What this means is that Obamacare will stop tens of thousands of Kroger employees — most of whom depend on and need the money — from working more than 28 hours!

Kroger is doing this to avoid paying for full-time healthcare for employees who currently only receive part-time benefits. And they will not get hit with the $3000 penalty.

My own area is a good example. I work with four people who currently get about 36 to 40 hours a week, but they are considered part-time by Kroger and receive limited benefits. Now, they will either have to find another part-time job or they will quit and find a full-time job.

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Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

33 Responses to “Kroger to Slash Hourly Workers to Avoid Obamacare Penalties”

  1. 2


    What is so maddening is when these obvious repercussions to illiberal legislation like this so inevitably develop, and we conservatives point out just how prescient Ayn Rand was with Ätlas Shrugged” when she pointed out these very results, the pseudointellectuals start ‘tut-tutting’ about how simple minded and uneducated we are for being so wrong. I used to think that the left was simply in need of some basic economic re-education. However after Obama and his ilk have so obviously taken every possible action to destroy our capitalist nation with the increased government dependency and unsustainable national debt, it has become frighteningly clear to me that there are two types of leftists. The first group are those so easily manipulated into believing they should feel guilty for what they have such that they willingly give up more and more of their income to the government bureaucrat to assuage their self-loathing. The second group are what Rand called ‘looters’…those who angrily demand they be given money without having to actually earn it, using the bogus porcine lipstick maneuver of calling such government sanctioned theft as “fairness”. The real scumbags, though, are the opportunists who try to lead the less than astute, selfish members of this aforementioned mobocracy they have created precisely for the purpose of amassing political and economic power to themselves and their cronies. They brazenly condemn oil companies for making an 8 cent per gallon profit, when the federal and state governments make 50-80 cents per gallon in their profit’ of gas taxes.
    I have come to the conclusion that term limits, combined with a prohibition on lawyers ever holding political office, is something we should strenuously debate and consider as a Constitutional amendment. Additionally, there should be an amendment that specifically requires all members of Congress to have to live under the exact same laws that they wish to impose upon the rest of us. (No more exemptions, as Pelosi and Reid did when they ensured that Congressional members, their families and staffers were all exempt from having to participate in the abomination of obamacare.)
    Perhaps the members of Congress would be a little better regarding balancing the budget if they were all required to forfeit their salaries and all funds raised for their re-election campaigns for every year that they could not balance the budget. Additionally, if a Congress and President do not produce a federal budget on time every year, they would all forfeit their federal pensions.
    I am just so sick and tired of being told that after all the hard work I have done to get where I am in life, after all the free time I have sacrificed to be successful, that I am somehow evil because I don’t think it is fair to have some bureaucrat steal 40% of my income every year just so they can buy the votes of the politically immature and the selfish. It ain’t charity when a mugger pulls a gun on you and steals from you, and the IRS is the biggest mugger of them all. Bernie Madoff got life in prison for running his ponzi scheme, but politicians have forced the biggest, most egregious ponzi scheme in history on us with social security, and the left is doubling down on their march to collectivist hell with obamacare.
    I hope and fervently pray that Obama and his cabal will not get away with their attempts at voter fraud, and that Romney and Ryan are truly sincere at turning the helm away from the marxist shoals threatening to sink the USS America. The first big step will be the repeal of Obamacare. The second will be gutting the EPA and approving the Keystone pipeline. The third will be a major shift away from the progressive income tax to a much more fair taxation system to pay for the legitimate functions of government.
    Pardon the length of this rant. I am just so anxious about Tuesday’s results. God help us if there are still too many people mired in the political illiteracy fomented by the leftist thugs and the grossly misnamed main stream media.

  2. 3

    Nan G

    This cannot even be called an unintended consequence.
    Anyone who read the bill realized this would be a consequence.
    One must then wonder what Obama’s main reason for doing this, causing the USA to become a part-time worker nation.
    So many possibilities from enslavement to forced volunteerism.
    None good.

  3. 4

    Nan G

    Too late to edit above, but the reason Kroger is going to fewer than 28 hours is that Obama has already redefined ”full time work,” as 30 hours a week or more.
    Obama did this after Darden (Olive Garden, Taco Bell, Burger King and many more) planned to cut its workforce down from a 40 hour week to a 30 hour week to avoid ObamaCare requirements for all its full time workers.
    Of course Darden will now cut those tens of thousands of workers back to UNDER 28 hours a week.
    Obama knew this would happen.
    Otherwise why give his supporters in the food services industry the waivers they wanted?

  4. 5

    Jim S

    In addition to John’s other ideas, I think we ought to consider removing the right to vote from people receiving unearned government benefits. Also, since term limits would keep people’s stay in government short… no pension for elected officials.

  5. 8

    Hard Right

    Ummmm no greg, they are doing what they need to in order to survive. Just because you can’t accept reality doesn’t mean no one else can either.

  6. 10


    Hate to tell you guys this – – but it just AINT true. I work as a vendor for Kroger – – they are not laying off – – they are hiring – – Yes its seasonal – but EVERY year – they slash employee hours after the holidays.
    So that is nothing new. They are a VERY Union shop – – they wont be paying for Obama care – he saw to it that his base will be protected – – the lazy, the unions (same thing) – and the goverment workers (again – the lazy AND THE SELF-SERVING) I do believe in other workplaces it will be bad – – I know Im not shopping for Christmas – – so are many others – – it will be a very small Christmas to brace for what is to come – – so we will see repricusions from this left -wing mass embrace of the lieing and the cheating. As someone once said – – IM DONE!!! No more giving – let Obama give – – no more supporting the conservative move – – Let them have at it… we lost – they won – – now see who they blame for all their attrocities.

  7. 12

    Tammy McCabe

    After I voted and realized, “gee, now we go Ocare and my life is falling apart fast”. I wanted to cry; just knowing that my vote, as usual, for no descent people to choose from, counts for nothing. These thieves. Where do they get these bodies with a pulse? I’m so tired of paying the “price” for all the stupidity in other behaviors that take advantage of what little I have left for them to have. No wonder people grab guns and kill others. They are outnumbered and cornered. Hey, government…get your head out of the darkness of behind and wake up.
    IS IT MADE IN AMERICA? Yes,,,,,it does matter. We don’t put a thought to that at all. Where were you when all our jobs went out of our country and people lost good or descent jobs? Start asking around…”IS IT MADE IN AMERICA”?
    One politician breaking laws doesn’t mention what the others are doing that we don’t know about. God…more stupid behaviors that are costing me time at work that is cut to 28 hrs a week. I lose $400.00 a month and good benefits, so Ocare can be ffffair. Well, I don’t want to play your stupid game; that keeps costing me more of what I don’t have anymore of. And K-Roger lies to us. “All you do on the job…we thank you and enjoy your bene…..Stop…Ocare needs funding…Here, take these hours and give them to a no show new hire and to Hell with descent work clientele , you’ll be working with ex cons and drugies that will steal you blind in a second. “We’re in the ground already kids,,,they’re throwing the dirt on us while our eyes are open”. Al Bundy…? What next?

  8. 13

    Economic Freedom

    @Nan G:

    Didn’t Obama mention back in the ’08 campaign that the US needs some sort of internal “civilian army”? I.e., a group of cadre officer / informants?

    I can imagine a plausible scenario in which many of the Kroger part-timers (and others), desperately seeking a 2nd part-time job, are forced to “volunteer” for such a group, especially if gov’t says, “Hey, c’mon and join! We’ll pay you $12.00 / hour!” You bet they’d join.

  9. 15


    I don’t give a crap! FU America, and all you leeches that voted for King Santa Claus, The day will come when we run out of money to pay for the teat sucking moochers, that day can’t come soon enough, most people with a brain will be prepared but the masses who voted for Santa Claus will not be. Then I’ll sit back and watch the fun begin!

  10. 16

    B. Evans

    Limiting employees to 28 hours makes no sense, unless a company is operating at a loss. Group insurance premiums paid by an employer are tax deductible just like other costs of doing business. As such they are not an added cost for the employer. What am I not understanding about this?

  11. 18

    Anthony Cherry

    Why is it a government’s fault that a company is unwilling to take care of its employees? Everyone blames Obama, but everyone DESERVES healthcare. The COMPANY is the bad guy. Sure it will cost them money, but they are making lots of money. This would be a hit, of course, and a big one. But in the end it BETTERS the life of the people. Companies should pony up and take the hit, take care of their employees, and not force all those people out of needed hours. Blaming Obama is just an easy way to blame someone else instead of the companies who should be taking care of their own.

  12. 19


    @B. Evans: @Anthony Cherry: It cost more per hour when they go over 28 hours. Then the cost of the product goes up and then the company is not competitive any more. That is what you are not understanding. Tax deductions or costs if not held in check can run you out of business!

  13. 20


    @Anthony Cherry: The difference is that a company’s idea of taking care of its employees and the government mandating what taking care of employees means. There are many who do not need or want health insurance whose health insurance is covered by a spouse or parent. Now, they will be required to have employer supplied insurance. The employer and employee have an employment contract that the employee accepts if they take employment. The employer bases his cost on producing a service or product upon that contract. Now the government will determines the cost and the employer has no means to control the cost of the product anymore. The company is no longer competitive and the company goes out of business. Which is more desirable, government mandated costs and no employment or a contract between employer and employee and a job/business?

  14. 21


    @Anthony Cherry: It is definitely government’s fault when government increases the cost of employee benefits – and then mandates the benefits at a higher level than the employee needs in order to pay for some other social benefit it deems proper.And, in this case, makes the benefit more expensive and less effective for everyone. IF the true purpose was to insure the uninsured, it could have been done for a fraction of the cost (and damage) of Obamacare.

  15. 22


    JOHN, – – perfectly said!!! Why should we loose our benefits – pay more – so others can increase their benefits and pay nothing. I cant afford to have more children – – why should I pay for someone to have 3 or 4 or 5 more kids… but more so – like you said… it could have been done better – – and I mostly resent that they made them vote on it before it was read – – that they couldnt read it and adjust it… It could have been done so much better – – now it will be a dead weight that will really hurt us till our dieing days.

  16. 23

    John II

    @ John –

    The U.S is currently exporting refined petroleum products, i.e., gasoline and diesel. This is flat-out the case. We’re floating in fuel with prices at the pump remaining at near all-time highs – a complete inversion of supply and demand laws, so go John Galt that!

    The “Keystone Pipeline” doesn’t do anything for North American fossil fuel independence. All it is is a literal conduit to Texas refineries for Canadian oil interests to export their then refined products abroad. Were such not the case the gold from the tar sands would be piped instead to refineries in the Midwest and West, not Texas. The whole saga of that pipeline has been sold as some panacea for lowering prices and the lie of “energy independence” when in fact, and I repeat, the oil companies are selling products refined here overseas.

    What part of “multi-national corporation” don’t you understand? Their is no allegiance to a “Home nation” when the world is their oyster and money is their god. After all, the Supreme Court ruled back in the 1910’s that a corporations legal obligation is to make profits for its shareholders regardless of the madness of the method. Wake up!

  17. 24


    @John II:

    The U.S is currently exporting refined petroleum products, i.e., gasoline and diesel.

    That is a severely misleading statement. And one that leads people to believe as you have, evidenced by the rest of your post.

    Yes, the US currently does export refined petroleum products. We have an excess of them. But those products do not include the heavily regulated low-sulfur diesel, nor does it include the various special blends required by law throughout the US. Any actual gasoline and diesel shipped out of the US is due to the easily obtainable forms of those fuels which do not meet the US’s strict standards.

    Mostly, though, the exported refined petroleum products include oils and greases not manufactured in other countries, or to other countries that cannot meet their own demands for those products. These oils and greases are byproducts of the various refining methods in use within the US, and are not made in lieu of actual petroleum fuels.

    This is why issuing the statement that you have is misleading to people. They hear “US is exporting petroleum products” and immediately think the oil refining companies are sending gas and diesel overseas that could be used here to lower prices at the pump. Not true at all. Not one little bit.

    You may have a point about the Keystone pipeline sending oil to Texas and OK, instead of midwest refineries, except that the midwest refineries operate mostly at capacity already, while the Texas and OK refineries have some unused capacity available, much more than the midwest refineries have. It makes more sense for the pipeline to send oil down to the Southeast and Southwest states for refining, rather than stop it short at a place that cannot handle the flow the pipeline could conceivably carry.

    If you wish to bash corporations on this, why do you not mention Buffett’s company, which owns a major stake in the railroad that ships Canadian oil at present? What would the pipeline do to that interest, without that large portion of shipping revenue the Canadian oil generates? This is the epitome of crony capitalism.

  18. 25


    @B. Evans:

    Tax deductible business expenses don’t make them cost free. It means it lowers taxable income. It just like your mortgage interest. It is tax deductible to you, but does that make it free? No. Same thing.

  19. 26


    The future of the consequences of actions:

    Today, the Hostess Brands announced the closing of three of its bakeries. The 130 year old company filed bankruptcy in January, but was struggling to stay afloat by reorganizing. In September, due to the financial straits of the company, the Teamsters Union agree to renegotiate the contract of the 170 Hostess Brands drivers who belong to the Teamsters Union in order to save those jobs. The new contract was narrowly passed by the membership.

    But not to be deterred, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International refused to renegotiate their contracts with the struggling company and went on strike. Today, Hostess Brands announced the permanent closing of three plants; St. Louis, Cincinnati and Seattle, saying due to the picket lines, they were unable to get the product to the market. The cost of the jobs by the closings are 365 in St. Louis, including the Teamsters’ drivers, and 262 jobs between Cincinnati and Seattle.

    Hostess Brands has announced that they will shut their doors permanently if it cannot reorganize, which includes wages and benefits. That would create a loss of 18,300 jobs, the total number of Hostess Brands employees.

    The company has already filed bankruptcy in order to be able to reorganize and stay in business. So what? The union members from the Bakery group said “So what? Give us what we want or we strike.” Hostess Brands warned, in talks with the unions, that it would close those plants if there was a strike. The union goons did not believe them. So, there is a risk that Hostess Brands will shut down completely, shoving 18,300 employees into the unemployment lines, while the union hiarchy remains employed. The Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers union has 82,372 members all across the nation. Frank Hurt, BCTW president, earns $262,645/yr with the union having 27 officers that earn well over $100K a year. But that union showed Hostess Brands, didn’t it, that it would strike. And the only cost was well over 600 jobs.

    Companies like Hostess Brands, who has seen their transportation costs double under Obama, are struggling to stay afloat. I can promise you, the BCTW pushed the re-election of Obama on the union membership. Just as the CWA did. Only problem, the CWA never advised their membership that due to the cost of their [almost totally] free health insurance through companies like At & T, those plans fall into the “Cadillac” catagory under Obamacare and will be taxes as income.

    Congratulations to those workers in St. Louis, Cininnatti and Seattle. They are rapidly going to learn that a job is better than no job. This, as today, Ohio announced that is will have to cut the level of food stamp benefits. Hey, states can go broke, too. Just ask California and New York.

  20. 27


    @John II: MOst people fail to realize that it doesn’t matter much where the oil is pumped from. The price of oil is determined by the world market, not some politician here in the US. Being independent means that we can not be held hostage.

    Pumpong and refining oil here in the US will create more jobs. The Keystone XL pipeline will create more jobs here in the US as compared to the Canadians pumping the oil to their west coast. Wake up JII I do not think you understand basic economics.

  21. 29

    Tammy McCabe

    @Randy: Interesting aspect; but when I was raising my first son, I stayed in the union groc. business so I could earn health benefits and (nearly) enough to live on while I was raising a “descent” human-being”. Might I add…and proud to say that I managed to go 14 yrs unassisted on my income making our life livable at the time. Wow, that’s something I’m very appreciative of the years behind me now. It’s never too late to stand up and take our responsibility for what could possibly become other people’s burden; especially when it is possible to do so.
    Enjoy the opinions of so many ideas here…I work just enough odd hours; it’s hard to have time to read the comments I like to keep up on. It’s Entertaining!!!

  22. 31

    Nan G

    I’m wondering if Obama will try to force companies to have a certain proportion of full-time workers.
    Last week we saw his leftist-packed NRLB simply sit on its hands while WalMart was ”picketed” by 99% non Wal-Mart people.

  23. 32

    T.J. Thomas

    Krogers saying it’s having to cut back its workers’ hours because of Obamacare is almost literally a joke. They have a long history of hiring people at reduced hours, since long before Obama was president. The one where I worked in southwest Virginia in the late 90s wouldn’t give you more than 15 hours a week unless you were in management or the deli. Some weeks you got all of six hours.

  24. 33


    I have work for Kroger what the article forget to say is that Kroger cuts hours every year after Christmas. Plus employees are union and they agree to these terms. Employees that are partime seldom get more than 28 hours a week anyway. So this is not due to Obamacare but due to the contract they agreed to.

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