Autozone: Obamacare could have ‘significant, negative impact on our business’

Jessica Stanton Contributor
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On Tuesday, Autozone joined the growing list of companies publicly warning about the negative effects of Obamacare, according to the company’s annual report.

In assessing risk factors that could affect the auto supply chain store, the Autozone report references President Barack Obama’s signature legislation: “While the significant costs of the recent healthcare legislation enacted will occur after 2013 due to provisions of the legislation being phased in over time, changes to our healthcare costs structure could have a significant, negative impact on our business.”

The company employs 70,000 employees nationwide, about 40,000 of which are full time. However, some of these full time employees could potentially be moved to part-time status in an effort to limit the costs associated with Obamacare. Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, employers face fines of up to $3,000 per employee if they do not provide basic care coverage to full time employees and their dependents.

This could significantly boost labor costs, requiring companies to begin deciding now between reducing hours or eliminating staff in anticipation of future increased operating costs.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that Darden Restaurants Inc., the owner of popular Rchain restaurants such as Olive Garden and Red Lobster, would be transitioning employees in at least four markets into part-time status in an effort to evaluate how to limit healthcare costs in advance of Obamacare.

Darden Restaurants Inc., which currently employs about 180,000 people, has plans to create 50,000 jobs in the next five years.

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