Tulsa Waitress Says Employer Cut Her Hours To Avoid Providing Health Insurance

Friday, October 4th 2013, 5:26 pm
By: News On 6

We are at the end of the first week since the new healthcare exchanges opened, as part of the Affordable Care Act. One local restaurant server said her employer is taking the cheap way out.

The server we spoke with wanted to keep her employer anonymous. She said her hours were recently cut and she thinks it is because her employer doesn't want to provide her health insurance.

Susan Dale said she loves her job, but lately it's been hard to make ends meet.

"We are literally in survival mode," Dale said. "We've become very creative with macaroni and cheese."

Dale said her employer recently cut her from full-time to part-time.

Her salary was nearly sliced in half.

"I'm one of the original hires of the place that I work at, and they just chose a select few to stay at full-time," Dale said.

Once the Affordable Care Act goes into full swing, companies with a certain amount of employees, including restaurants, are required to offer healthcare to full-time employees.

Dale believes this is why her hours were cut.

"They don't want to pay for healthcare to servers. Their justification is, 'We'll go bankrupt if we pay,'" Dale said.

Dale supports her 16-year-old daughter, who is aspiring to be a recording artist. She said sometimes she feels like her daughter's dream may have to be put on hold.

"My daughter no longer takes dance classes, so it has affected my daughter's after school activities. I'm having to barter for some of her music lessons," Dale said.

In Oklahoma, the minimum servers make is $2.13 per hour.

Dale said it's hard to survive when customers don't tip.

"I say, God bless them, because they are naive, they don't know, or they don't care," she said.

Dale said she wishes lawmakers would have included something in the law that would penalize restaurant owners for cutting employees' hours as a way for them to bypass Obamacare.

"When it comes to healthcare, the businesses need to pull their breeches up, act like a grown-up and take care of their employees," Dale said.

We tried to contact multiple restaurants, but none of the owners wanted to give us their opinions about how the Affordable Care Act is affecting their restaurants.