Pres. Obama said “shame on them” to large corporations using ACA as an excuse for cutting back workers’ wages
President Barack Obama criticized Staples over its working hours policy that prohibits its employees from working more than 25 hours a week to avoid paying benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
During a recent interview with Buzzfeed, Pres. Barack Obama was asked about his reaction regarding the report that Staples is threatening to fire employees who will more than 25 hours.
The president was informed that one of the managers of the office supply retailer said to a worker that “Obama’s responsible” for the policy implemented by Staples.
Pres. Obama’s comments on Staples policy
In response to the issue, Pres. Obama said, “I haven’t looked at Staples stock lately or what the compensation of the CEO is, but I suspect that they could well afford to treat their workers favorably and give them some basic financial security.”
Staples recently announced its agreement to acquire Office Depot for approximately $6.3 billion.
Pres. Obama emphasized that if Staples cannot afford, it “should be willing to allow those workers to get the Affordable Care Act without cutting wages.”
He also pointed out that there is no reason for an employer currently providing healthcare to their workers to discourage them from either getting health insurance on the job or being able to avail themselves of the Affordable Care Act.
The Affordable Care Act required companies with more than 50 employees to pay for health insurance if they are working 30 hours or more per week.
Pres. Obama also said “shame on them’ to large corporations generating billions of dollars in profits, and using the interest of his administration in providing health insurance as an excuse for cutting back workers’ wages.
Staples says its unfortunate Pres. Obama is attacking a major tax payer
In a statement to Buzzfeed, Staples spokesperson Mark Cautela said its report regarding the company’s policy limiting the working hours of part-time workers was “misleading.”
Cautela emphasized that the policy has been implemented for more than a decade. It predates the Affordable Care Act. He said, “Unfortunately, the president appears not to have all the facts.”
“It’s unfortunate that the president is attacking a company that provides more than 85,000 jobs and is a major tax payer. We are very proud of our associates and offer competitive wages and benefits. Staples is a leader in helping associates build a secure future,” added Cautela.