Circle K Shifts Workers to Part-Time, Blames Obamacare

Circle K Southeast joined a growing list of national companies shifting workers to part-time status this week, in order to avoid paying Obamacare's mandatory benefits, CBS-WTOC reports.

The alternative is to pay a $2,000 fine per fulltime worker who is not covered, leading Circle K to become the latest in a long line of companies to slice employee hours to avoid increased costs.

Regal Entertainment Group, the largest U.S. theater chain, specifically blamed Obamacare in April when it shifted many of its employees to below the 30-hour threshold to offset Obamacare, as did AAA Parking. Numerous restaurants, hotels and retailers have done or are considering the same.

Long Beach, Calif., located in heavily Democratic Los Angeles County, is cutting back the hours of employees to avoid the penalty, as has the state of Virginia and the city of Dearborn, Mich.

In March, The New York Times noted an "unsettling trend" in the rise of part-time workers during the languishing economic recovery in the U.S.

Earlier this week, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean acknowledged patients will be damaged by the legislation, and longtime advocate Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said Obamacare could cause premiums to go through the roof Thursday before trying to walk back the remarks.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has also said citizens purchasing new insurance policies for themselves this fall could face rising premiums due to the Affordable Care Act.