Regal cutting theater workers’ hours due to Obamacare

Follow us on Twitter @AJCBiz

Phil Skinner, pskinner@ajc.com

Phil Skinner, pskinner@ajc.com

Regal Entertainment Group, which operates Regal Cinemas and United Artists Theatres in metro Atlanta and has more than 6,800 theaters across the country, plans to cut the hours of thousands of employees to avoid having to provide costly health care insurance coverage under Obamacare, according to a company memo obtained by Fox News.

Non-salaried workers will be made part-timers, putting them below the average 30-hour-a-week threshold where employers must provide health insurance under the under the Affordable Care Act or face a possible penalty, according to Fox’s report.

REG is joining other companies that have announced plans to either cut workers or their hours to avoid facing increased health care costs under Obamacare. Starting in 2014, some businesses with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees that do not offer health coverage to those employees may face penalties. A full-time employee for the purposes of Obamacare is one who is employed an average of at least 30 hours per week.

The network quoted the following from the REG memo:

“To comply with the Affordable Care Act, Regal had to increase our health care budget to cover those newly deemed eligible based on the law’s definition of a full-time employee, To manage this budget, all other employees will be scheduled in accord with business needs and in a manner that will not negatively impact our health care budget.”

Efforts were being made to reach REG or comment. In addition to Regal Cinemas, REG operates Edwards Theatres.

129 comments Add your comment

Cosby

April 17th, 2013
10:24 am

Obama Care…the uintended copnsequesnces..but remember..we must pass theis bill to find what is in it..way to go Obama fanatics…you will reap what you sow!

i have insurance

April 17th, 2013
10:26 am

Here is the thing I am noticing- people love the idea of universal healthcare, but have no clue what all is in the bill and a lot of it is costly and scary.

SA

April 17th, 2013
10:29 am

Stay classy Regal. Keep on keeping your employees in the dog house.

Binford

April 17th, 2013
10:31 am

And I am sure the executives got raises as well. Seems like a lot of companies are using this a reason to not hire full-time people. Not an Obama supporter, just an observation.

RexDogma

April 17th, 2013
10:32 am

These people did not have insurance anyway? The companies that do this reap millions anyway. Just another cop out. Boycott them!!!

GottaComment

April 17th, 2013
10:44 am

For those of you critical of REG, are you willing to pay several dollars more for your movie ticket to cover the costs of Obamacare? If not, don’t complain or even comment. Companies are in business to make a profit, pure and simple, and if the Government is going to shove healthcare down your throat, someone has to pay for it. That money will come from hardworking, tax paying citizens and from businesses, and most certainly not from the vast majority that will benefit from Obamacare . . .

CUSTOMER

April 17th, 2013
10:44 am

If a company cannot take care of their employees, how can the company appear able to take care of the customer?

There is a difference between CHEAP @SSES and simply complying with the realities of running a business.

BOYCOTT!!!!!! They are too big to cheat PEOPLE.

DC3

April 17th, 2013
10:56 am

So does this mean the 15-18 year olds that work there are going to buy less candy now or fewer Porsches later in life?

Customer Too

April 17th, 2013
11:01 am

I agree. This is just another cop out by the “filthy” rich. BOYCOTT their a$$!!!

hal

April 17th, 2013
11:02 am

Remind me never to patronize Regal. Health care? We don’t need no stinkin health care. Let them all die instead.

Bernie

April 17th, 2013
11:04 am

Surely if one to review the Healthcare Plans of the workers compared to management and the executive level staff, you will find a stark difference of available care and coverage between the (3) three. The average workers coverage being applied with lesser medical coverage and available benefits across the Board.

I dropped my fried twinkie

April 17th, 2013
11:10 am

The REGAL was not providing insurance for most of these employees before ObamaCare so who cares if they don’t provide it in the future.
Obama Voters did this to themselves and the rest of us by being Dumb Racists Voters.

Cynthia Tucker McKinney

April 17th, 2013
11:17 am

You Owebama supporters are hilarious. The left rams through a monstrosity of a bill that wasn’t read by those that voted for it, and you all blame the corporations. Y’all need to check and see if Owebamacare covers brain transplants.

way to go

April 17th, 2013
11:18 am

I am laughing at all of you who are claiming to BOYCOTT, you will only add more damage to an already weak economy. You were told that Obamacare is not free. You were told that you now have to buy insurance or you will face a fine for not being covered.

You still voted for those crappy liberals. We threw the democraps out after Clinton because he robbed social security, and you think that they are any different now because a black man now represents them ?

What Obamacare boils down to is this, If you are alive, and live in this country, you better buy insurance, or you will be fined. If you refuse to pay the fine, you will be imprisoned.

You employer now has no incentive to provide you with insurance. There is now a law, just like with auto insurance, that requires you to purchase that product. I am 100% certain, that your employer does not pay for your auto insurance ? Why would they pay for your health insurance ?

Guess what sheep, it will only get worse from here.

Boycott Regal!!

April 17th, 2013
11:38 am

Well Regal just lost my business!! If Regal can afford to give health insurance to the executives then they should also give it to ALL EMPLOYEES. I think its low down and dirty to reduce workers hours to avoid having to provide insurance to their hourly workers. Shame on Regal!!

Curmudgeon

April 17th, 2013
11:40 am

Boycott? Typical no brain thoughtless response. If your boycott is successful and no one goes to the cinema then there will be no need to staff the place and then everyone will be laid off.

Yep, that old boycott should solve the problem.

What you “boycotters” (and OWS types) haven’t learned yet is that businesses across the U.S. are reaching critical mass. They are not able to continue paying these additional and often unnecessary business costs and still stay in business. Like Maggie Thatcher said “Socialism is fine until you run out of other peoples’ money”.

Yag Kosha

April 17th, 2013
11:46 am

I will never attend a Regal theater again. I urge everyone to boycott this company for their blatantly political move.

Yag Kosha

April 17th, 2013
11:47 am

Curmudgeon: when YOU get a brain, you can play on the computer. Until then, go to your room and stay there until i tell you to come out!

Skynyrd

April 17th, 2013
11:49 am

I hope all you retards that voted for Obumer are happy with your change. Won’t be long all companies will be hiring just part time employee’s so they won’t have to pay more. Don’t blame them

PamJ

April 17th, 2013
11:51 am

And how many millions in bonuses does the Regal Group CEO get for slashing workers minimum wage hours? I won’t be attending Regal again either. Yet again, another business that handles FOOD who refuses to provide basic health care for its employees, who handle FOOD. gross

melshop

April 17th, 2013
11:53 am

Reading over the posts..couple of thoughts. First, those of you who think all corporations are greedy, filthy rich b********, you obviously have never owned a business. While many may pull in millions, that money isn’t all profit. Companies, particularly national ones, cost millions to run. Besides the obvious overhead and payroll, you’ve got about 20 different taxes to pay, matching Medicare, Medicaid, SS payments, workman’s comp, (in this case) movie acquisition/royalty/copyright costs, and associated legal costs for various things. Movie companies have had a difficult decade with things like Netflix, On-demand, and Red Box competing and a bad economy with little disposable income. Actually, their profits don’t come from movies, but from concessions. People going to movies have cut down on concession purchases because movie ticket prices have gone up.

Now, comes another mandate that will cost millions more. The company can’t increase prices because that will hurt them in an already unstable market. Their bottom line is already stretched. There is only one way to go, cutting hours of employees to get out from under the penalty.

In times past, employers offered benefits as an incentive for good workers to stay with the company. It was a way to beat their competitors for good workers. However, in this economy, when there are more people looking for work than employers hiring, having good benefits will not make any difference in keeping employees. So, REG has no incentive to keep insurance for all employees and, in fact, has every incentive based on the cost and regulations of Obamacare mandate to cut employees/hours in order to not provide insurance. It’s simple economics folks.

Now, these same employees who were making OK money with no insurance will be making much less pay AND STILL have to buy insurance out of their own pockets. We told you this would happen. You didn’t believe us.

MoFaux

April 17th, 2013
11:56 am

Curmudgeon: Nice Thatcher quote. Notice how she didn’t touch their universal health care? :-) Also, our is definitely NOT universal health care. It is some silly hybrid brought on by mindless Republicans and wussy Democrats. We should be under a single-payer system, like every other civilized country…THEN we would have universal health care. Too bad the Dems were too weak to ram that through. And yes, I don’t mind spending my tax dollars to ensure that myself, and every other American (including you), will never go bust for having the audacity to require medical assistance that exceeds one’s ability to repay it. I’m not talking breast implants and abortions…I’m talking about a car accident driving home after being ‘let go’ (losing your insurance) that leaves you in coma and a $500k hospital bill when you wake up. This scenario is far from being far-fetched.

Marsh

April 17th, 2013
11:59 am

I’d love to know how Skynyrd and Curmudgeon and waytogo will respond when what is already blatantly obvious is proven to be true – that some right-wing, gun nut, HIGH information voting (HA – give me a break), Glenn Beck worshipping, “Obummer” hating white guy is charged with bombing the Boston Marathon.

Throw a tea party, maybe?

Boycott?

April 17th, 2013
12:03 pm

You idiots calling for a boycott don’t even go watch movies in the theater anyway. You are the same idiots that voted for this incompetent president and don’t pay a dime in federal income taxes. You ARE the low information voter that blindly follow the Democratic party like sheep.

Marsh

April 17th, 2013
12:04 pm

Exactly.

Bah, bah, sheep.

cjae of EAV

April 17th, 2013
12:09 pm

Simple solution, true health care reform that doesnt tie your ability to secure a health care benifit plan to the state of your employment.

K. Bruno

April 17th, 2013
12:09 pm

With all due respect to the office of the presidency, Mr. Obama should take notice. This is what happens when you try to infuse a socialist policy into a capitalist environment. The government can force businesses to do one thing, however, the government cannot prevent the businesses’ logical, lawful reaction to that legislature. Hopefully, this is a lesson learned – even though it’s late.

Finn McCool

April 17th, 2013
12:12 pm

When the sickly concession stand worker hands you the popcorn with one hand while wiping their nose with the sleeve of their other hand, you’ll understand.

“Do you want your change, sir?”

Stupid

April 17th, 2013
12:13 pm

For all of you complaining about Regal, get ready. More and more and more companies will do this. Hey wait, let’s get the “rich” people to pay for it. Or hey, let’s let the employees get the Obamacare and you pay $30 for a movie ticket! This stuff isn’t free folks. Someone pays for it. And considering if you tax the top 3% of earners 100% in taxes, it only pays to run the government for 40 days.

dummy

April 17th, 2013
12:13 pm

How dare the company tries to make money! They should forget a profit and provide their employees free healthcare. In fact, the movie should be free too.

Businesses that operate on thin margins (like movie theaters, restaurants, etc) can NOT afford to give healthcare to their employees without raising prices, firing workers, or reducing hours. It is that simple. Anyone that can’t understand that is too dumb to understand business or simple economics.

BK37

April 17th, 2013
12:14 pm

For the poster who asked about whether or not the execs got bonuses:

In 2012, Regal’s stock went up by over 20 percent, and every single major company executive, including the CEO, CFO, and COO, received a six-figure pay increase. CEO Amy Miles made off particularly well, with her pay rising by 31 percent to $4.45 million for the year, bolstered by a base salary increase of $750,000.

Finn McCool

April 17th, 2013
12:17 pm

I’ll gladly pay more for a ticket so that a human being can have health insurance.

jeez, I just love the christian mentality of you folks.

Finn McCool

April 17th, 2013
12:20 pm

You’ll spend $4.00 for $.05 worth of popcorn but god forbid you have to contribute to another person’s well being?

Stupid

April 17th, 2013
12:21 pm

Well Finn you volunteer to do that then. No one is stopping you from giving more taxes to the government while they constantly waste money as well. Hey, another idea. Let’s just let them all go to the emergency room like the illegals do and pay nothing. The cost of healthcare, well that is one of the issues it is so high. Oh but wait, let’s give all 11million amnesty and buy them a house too.

I dropped my fried twinkie

April 17th, 2013
12:24 pm

How much are the BOYCOTTERS willing to pay for your Domino’s, Papa John’s or Pizza Hut pizza in the future?

James

April 17th, 2013
12:25 pm

MoFaux is correct when he said what we have is definitely not universal health care or socialized healthcare. What we have is a big mess. Basically they stuck all the responsibility on the insurance companies, employers and the private citizens. A lot of people don’t understand that the only thing that has really changed is, if you don’t have health insurance you will have to buy it on your own dime. You will be required (if you have a job or not) to buy it, or be taxed. When it comes to universal health care we should be all in (government sponsored healthcare for all, paid for by taxes) or all out. Not some hybrid system that is doomed to fail.

Stupid

April 17th, 2013
12:26 pm

Finn, I just wanted to let you know, I am not disclaiming that people do not need healthcare, I just disagree with Obamacare. I’m sorry, but all my life I have worked very hard, growing up not poor, but not quite middle class either, and we paid our way. It’s time that the “give me, give me” attitude is put to rest. Take care of the kids, veterans and disabled, but quit paying for the people that can work and provide.

Bajeha

April 17th, 2013
12:32 pm

“If a company cannot take care of their employees, how can the company appear able to take care of the customer?” ~ Customer @ 10:44

A very good question, Regal Entertainment Group executives. Consider the following before you respond:

There’s a Regal theater complex near my home; a larger AMC complex is less than a mile away. The Regal complex is run down and ratty-looking; food choices and preparation are abysmal; its restroom facilities are inadequate, especially for women, and rarely clean; and employees appear poorly trained and unmotivated. The AMC facility is just the opposite in almost every respect. Guess which business gets more word of mouth praise, foot traffic and repeat customers?

Now Regal says that it’s cutting employee hours due to projected Obamacare costs. Right. Let’s blame government and the law to reduce our poorly compensated front-line work force. IMO RGC executives are just using that as another excuse to explain the company’s low profitability — and justify their own job performance — to stockholders.

Memo to Regal: You’re in the movie business, right? Remember “build it and they will come?” Why not re-think your field of dreams business model? Invest in better facilities, improved management practices, higher performance standards and adequate employee compensation. That’s how you motive good employees, increase customer satisfaction to grow your business and improve your your profit margin.

Guest

April 17th, 2013
12:40 pm

“If your boycott is successful and no one goes to the cinema then there will be no need to staff the place and then everyone will be laid off.”

At Regal, yes. But when everyone takes their business elsewhere, then other theaters will need to hire more employees to serve their growing customer base. Just because Regal goes out of business doesn’t mean the demand for movies disappears.

Finn McCool

April 17th, 2013
12:42 pm

well said, Bajeha!

WhoareYou!

April 17th, 2013
12:46 pm

What the hell is a racist voter?

I dropped my fried twinkie

April 17th, 2013
12:47 pm

Guest…………..do you think Regal will be the ONLY company to do this? Do you think the movie industry will be the only industry to do this?
PUBLIX has kept most workers at just under full time since they started doing business in Ga to avoid health benefits. Do you BOYCOTT grocery stores?
BOYCOTT every company not keeping full time employees and paying for their health care and see who you will be doing business with.

Barbara

April 17th, 2013
12:47 pm

Just another way for companies not to own up to being responsible and looking out for their employees. When will it ever be about the employee and not the company.

Finn McCool

April 17th, 2013
12:48 pm

Well Finn you volunteer to do that then.

If you can’t afford another $.10 for a movie ticket then maybe you have bigger issues and shouldn’t be going to the movies in the first place.

but this isn’t about you or me, this is about greed. Taking a bonus on corp profits is great, but refusing to pay your employees a living wage/compensation while doing so? Uhuh.

Why do the workers always have to pay/take it up the “” so the owners can not have their profits disturbed a bit?

I dropped my fried twinkie

April 17th, 2013
12:48 pm

WhoareYou!……………You don’t know the definition of Racists? You don’t know what a Voter is?

patpat

April 17th, 2013
12:49 pm

Regal is doing what they must do to stay in business. If they provided healthcare insurance for everyone, no one could afford to go to the movies because the ticket price would be raised to covered the cost of insurance and then the employees would not only not have a part-time job, they would have NO job.

Bajeha

April 17th, 2013
12:51 pm

@BK37 at 12:14 PM: Thank you for your post detailing RGC executive compensation. That information justifies my own thoughts about Regal’s intended action.

I dropped my fried twinkie

April 17th, 2013
12:55 pm

Why don’t the MOVIE makers pay the STARS less to make the movies and take that saved money from paying Martin Sheen and use it to pay the movie theater employees. Yes that is it. The STARS need the Theaters to show their movie so they can make money. Maybe the STARS should help pay the cost of the OUTLET where their ART makes them money.

Finn McCool

April 17th, 2013
12:57 pm

If you can’t turn a profit while treating your employees decently then you should be replaced.

Finn McCool

April 17th, 2013
12:59 pm

Well, I dropped, theatre employees don’t work for the hollywood stars. In fact operating a movie house is more about concessions than movies and ticket prices.

If they are going to raise anything it would be the concession prices cause they can’t do much, if anything, about the price of the movie ticket.