As the Affordable Care Act goes into effect, Andy Pudzer, CEO of conjoined fast-food chains Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s, went on Fox News to tell Megyn Kelly that President Obama is flat-out “wrong” in thinking that health-care reform has no widespread effect on the job market, claiming that employers, himself included, are overwhelmingly choosing to hire part-time employees to avoid paying for benefits. It’s baffling that companies continue to admit their preference for hiring more part-time employees, rather than paying for health care for those working 40 hours a week. Here, Pudzer helpfully spells out his house rules.
He tells Kelly:
It’s very simple: If you increase the cost of something, businesses will use less of it. If you decrease the cost, they will use more of it. So if you increase the cost of full-time employment, there will be less full-time employees. If you decrease the cost of part-time employment, you’ll have more part-time employment.
Never mind the company’s arguably misguided (some say “disgusting”) eight-year history of employing pseudo-sexy people like Paris Hilton in an age when competitors have increasingly abandoned $400,000-a-day celebrities in favor of low-cost viral approaches; it’s just the president’s fault. That’s the story Carl’s Jr. is sticking with, starting with an outpost in Texas that closed recently, hanging a sign in the window reading, simply, “Closed by Obamacare.”
Update: A rep for Puzder sends in the following statement regarding the CEO’s on-air appearance and the shuttered Carl’s Jr. in Texas:
[W]e have offered all of our more than 21,000 full- and part-time employees at our Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants access to health insurance. For more than a decade, we’ve been proud to offer all of our crew employees access to affordable plans with an annual benefit cap. The numbers he referred to in the interview and an associated Wall Street Journal article were not for our company but rather were taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting of national employment data. Secondly, regarding the sign on the restaurant in Texas, it was the result of an unauthorized prank. The sign appeared in a Carl’s Jr. restaurant in Carrollton, Texas that had been closed by a franchisee in connection with a sales transaction. The sign was not an authorized communication and was promptly removed upon discovery.”
Fast-food CEO says Obama ‘wrong,’ health law is hurting job creation [Fox News]
You’re Going to Want to Check Out the Sign We Found Posted at a Recently-Shut Down Restaurant in Texas [The Blaze]
Earlier: Obamacare Isn’t Forcing Restaurants to Cut Employees’ Hours