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Dunkin' Brands Takes Stand Against Obamacare

The Canton-based company is lobbying the White House to changes its definition of full-time work from 30 hours a week to 40 or more per week, according to reports.

Canton-based Dunkin' Brands has joined the fight against Obamacare

The coffee and baked goods company is working to overturn a major provision of Obamacare, according to a Newsmax.com report this week.

Specifically, Dunkin' is lobbying the White House to change its definition of full-time work from at least 30 hours a week to 40 or more per week, CEO Nigel Travis told the Financial Times, according to The Huffington Post.

The change would leave Dunkin', as well as other companies, with fewer workers to insure under the health care reform law, which requires large employers to provide health coverage to all full-time workers and their dependents. Those companies who fail to provide coverage could face a penalty of $2,000 per worker. The mandate applies to every company with 50 or more full-time employees. 

What do you think? Do you support the move by Dunkin' Brands? Let us know in the comments section below.

J L R February 23, 2013 at 06:31 PM
well guess my Dunkin fix will have to end. I will not support a company that doesn't want to support it's workers. BYE DUNK!
Carol Bragg February 23, 2013 at 06:45 PM
I hope those who oppose having a mandate that employers provide health insurance for their workers refuse to accept health insurance benefits for their own jobs or resign from their jobs and find new employment without health insurance coverage. The latter would be one way of opening up jobs with health benefits to those who don't currently have them. It would also make the arguments against a mandate more credible.
Carol Bragg February 23, 2013 at 06:54 PM
BTW, we lose jobs when we provide health benefits to public service employees. If we were to cut health insurance as a payroll expense, we could hire more employees. Or, we could reduce property and income taxes. I don't advocate this because I believe everyone should have affordable health insurance and employer packages tend to be cheaper than what one can purchase as an individual.
Peter Hoogerzeil February 23, 2013 at 07:25 PM
Carol: As long as my employer gives me the 15 grand a year to invest in my own flexible health care account and the government stops making out-of-pocket or self insurance virtually impossible, I'll give up what I have currently. That benefit is part of my compensation, so if I give it up, I should have that cash untaxed (wishful thinking under Obama) to invest in my own insurance scheme for my family. You are right... the problem is the system is rigged to favor collectivism... employer packages and networks make it cheaper instead of a free market system. I believe individuals are very capable of making a health insurance system that works for themselves, not some abstract "collective good". If you're trying to poke at the fact I am a public employee, nice try. I'll go with the free market if the state and federal government would let the free market operate. Unfortunately, our government tries very hard to crush the free market system at every turn, so I, like many, are stuck in this Byzantine system of inefficiency, corruption, and social experimentation with our health and livelihood.
paul February 23, 2013 at 07:31 PM
This is not about the Dunkin' Donuts on the corner (they want you to think that) this is about corporate DD. This is about having to put all their 30 hour per week moms on family plans, the local girls will stay on their parents plan.
Peter Hoogerzeil February 23, 2013 at 07:33 PM
Paul: I live in the real world trying to make ends meet every month, and it gets tougher and tougher as taxes go up, inflation eats my savings, and the value of my dollar decreases due to artificial support from our Federal Reserve to monetize our debt and deficits. That's not just Obama, its the whole Washington establishment that lives outside the real world. As a public employee the past six years, I have been contributing 25% of my health care premium (in my private sector job I paid nothing). In addition, the state arbitrarily gave municipalities the power to renegotiate health care benefits last year which increased our co-pays and deductibles in order to save money. I'm not complaining about this, but I am making the point that I have a real world perspective like everyone else. Please stop making off-handed assumptions about those of us who give opinions contrary to your ideology.
Peter Hoogerzeil February 23, 2013 at 07:36 PM
Then the take home coffee companies and thermos manufacturers will be over-taxed and regulated. This is about government control of a huge part of the economy, not health care or health insurance for all Americans.
paul February 23, 2013 at 07:38 PM
Dunkin' Donuts is a monster, hardly a day goes by that we don't have to listen to one of their radio or TV commercials. Around here they are only one mile apart in some areas. I don't know anyone that liked having Obamacare shoved down their necks but now it's law and it's time to get over it.
Michael Kreyssig February 23, 2013 at 07:49 PM
I have never had a full time job that did not offer health insurance...ever. The only jobs I have ever held that did not offer medical insurance were part-time jobs, something I have not had since high-school, and I have no college education. Two things should be pointed out here. First I did not enroll in an employee sponsored health care program until I was married and had children. Why? Because it was cheaper for me to pay out of pocket for a visit to the doctor on the rare occasion I became sick than it was for me to contribute 30 to 60 dollars a week out of my pay check. Secondly, who says that a part-time employee is even looking for health insurance? Go into a Dunkin after 3:00 pm any day of the week and on weekends and tell me 95% of the employees in there are not on their parents insurance. Go into one before 3 pm during the week and tell me at least half aren't already collecting medicare. Throw in the stay at home mom and working mother's hours and on her husbands plan, or the single mother working part-time collecting state benefits...who are we left with? So why should the government lower the hrs required to be considered full/part-time and force business owners to offer insurance to employees that they can't afford? If you want a job that offers medical insurance as a benefit go work for a company that offers it.
Michael Kreyssig February 23, 2013 at 08:43 PM
Paul How many part time 30 hr a week employees are up in Canton?Do you really think Dukin Brands would take the PR risk for that? This IS about the little guy on the corner. Dunkin is lobbying on their behalf.
deb of see-attleboro February 23, 2013 at 08:58 PM
Amen, Peter. The system is rigged. If it is too complicated for an individual American to get health care, if a high school senior or college student can't fill out a FAFSA without assistance, if Mom and Dad cannot calculate their own income tax without a preparer, we are in a very bad place. Welcome to middle America. We are in a very bad place.
Growing more concerned by the day! February 24, 2013 at 01:10 AM
American employment will looko very different in the very near future. Many large companies will keep only key senior managers on their Full time payroll and contracted contingcey workers to execute the menial and administrative tasks. That means 95% of Americans that want to work full time will need to sell their services to the highest bidder and recieve only cash compensation and no benefits. Companies will work hard to keep their permanent workforce under 50 employees to avoid the penealties or pay the mear $2000 fine rather than $10,000 health care premium. If you think your health care is expensive now, wait until you need to pay for the whole nut!
paul February 24, 2013 at 01:24 PM
Michael, did you read the story? I know it was kind of long but did you read it? Dunkin' Donuts does not want to offer their employees health care. They have money for racing teams, luxury boxes, golf tournaments, naming rights (The Dunk)etc. but they want no part of insuring their people. They have a lot of nerve but no class.
paul February 24, 2013 at 01:37 PM
Dear more concerned by the day, don't worry, everything you mentioned above has been going on since George W. Bush tanked our economy in 2008. Health care still costs nothing for illegals, veterans, many politicians, homeless, jobless, welfare families and many more that already can't afford it. With less than half of our workforce working, why do you think heath care costs so much?
Michael Kreyssig February 24, 2013 at 02:04 PM
"But the real benefit would likely go to Dunkin's franchisees, who operate more than 10,000 Dunkin' Donuts locations and almost 7,000 Baskin-Robbins restaurants." http://money.msn.com/now/post.aspx?post=3b06f01e-02c5-4fe1-a779-e4bd447765aa+ You are also aware that McDonalds recieved a waiver, right Paul? So did the AFL/CIO....as did ALL the unions. I wonder why the fine from the government is less than half the cost of actually providing coverage for the employee. Any idea why that might be Paul?
Michael Kreyssig February 24, 2013 at 02:19 PM
Obama also wants to raise the Federal minimum wage to 9 dollars an hour onforcing fast food chains to give their employees a 24% pay increase on top of medical insurance.
Carol Bragg February 24, 2013 at 04:09 PM
Part of the reason the economy is falling apart is that there's a widening gap between rich and poor. We all have an equal number of hours in the day. A person who earns $8 an hour (Mass minimum wage) has to work 5 hours to pay a contractor $40 an hour. At least under the old math that I learned, it doesn't work for long to have to work 5 hours to pay some else for 1 hour of work. There are not enough hours in the day or week. Those earning minimum wage can't afford to purchase the services of those in the middle class. The middle class leaks jobs as a result. It doesn't benefit anyone -- lower class or middle class -- to have large numbers of working poor with ill health. We will not have a healthy economy without a healthy workforce. We need to look at more than dollars. How can anyone take pride in their work if they don't receive a fair wage? What does it mean if we don't think government should give handouts to the poor but we also don't think employers should pay a fair wage? These are human beings, not objects to be manipulated or exploited. There are no pure communist or socialist societies any longer, and there are no pure capitalist societies, to my knowledge. Every society has moved to a mixed economy. There apparently is some wisdom in being centrist rather than extreme in either direction.
Michael Kreyssig February 24, 2013 at 10:18 PM
If I own a convenience store with 10 employees all making $7.25 an hour, and am forced by the government to increase my annual payroll by $27,000.00 I am going to shrink my workforce. Especially in an economy where impulse spending is plummeting. I spend all day in convenience stores. You would not believe how much there business has slowed down in the first month of 2013 alone since the payroll tax increase took place. I talk to store owners who have been in the business for 30 plus years that will tell you they have never seen things so bad. So which do you think is better? 10 people making $7.25, or 7 making $9.00? Now take Joe Smoe owner of Corporation XYZ operating as Dunkin Donuts A,B,C,D with 50 employees. His payroll has to increase $136000.00 AND he has to pay for medical benefits? Even if it only ends up being of half of the 50 employees, that's still around 200k. If you fix the economy, and allow the free market to work, every able bodied man and woman should be able to find a job that offers everything they need. The problem is right now you have laid-off software engineers working part-time on the Geek Squad at BestBuy.(who will also be closing about 50 stores in 2013)
Dennis Naughton February 28, 2013 at 12:43 PM
@peter: Suggest yo renounce your Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid now or get off that tired Tea Party "socialism" rhetoric. The American people spoke in the 2012 election. You're in the dustbin of history, but just don't know it yet.
Dennis Naughton February 28, 2013 at 12:46 PM
@deb: Same advice I gave to Peter--Renounce your Social Security, Medicare and Medicare now or give up that tired Tea Party "socialism" nonsense. The American people sorted you out in the 2012 election. Did you miss that?
Dennis Naughton February 28, 2013 at 12:50 PM
Easy Michael---7 people making $9.00. The sky is not falling. What you are advocating is a race toward serfdom. Who do you think would patronize your stores then?
Steve February 28, 2013 at 01:28 PM
Dennis Naughton 10:02 am on Sunday, February 24, 2013 Let's have Dunkin' dislose their balance sheet, putting their money where their mouth is.Anyone who patronizes Dunkin' is well aware that they employ people at minimum wage. They particularly exploit immigrants and others who cannot find other employment that pays a decent wage. Reply Steve 10:06 am on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 Dennis, As a state Democratic committee member and town committee Chairman I really do believe you owe it to us readers to explain your above comment regarding Dunkin Donuts. Please read my statement below from yesterday and respond so that we can get an accurate representation of the Democratic view with regard to minimum wage and who should receive it. 8:35 am on Monday, February 25, 2013 If pouring coffee does not exemplify the perfect job to pay minimum wage what does?? I’m not trying to be coy or funny here. Dennis, what jobs should pay minimum wage if not counter help???? “They particularly exploit immigrants and others who cannot find other employment that pays a decent wage.” How is giving a job to someone that “cannot find other employment” exploitation??? Boy I have never felt farther away from the Democratic Party thinking then I have in the last 5
deb of see-attleboro February 28, 2013 at 01:52 PM
Hey Dennis. Did you read what I wrote. I'm with ya!! I am all for a single payer government run health care system. The game is OVER!! You won! I don't want it that way. But the people voted. Elections have consequences. So can you please move the ball forward so we can get this thing done!!!
deb of see-attleboro February 28, 2013 at 04:28 PM
Has anyone mentioned the fact that DD counter help is not your average minimum wage employee? In fact, don't they earn quite a bit in tips?
Dennis Naughton February 28, 2013 at 05:49 PM
@deb: Some do some don't. For example, workers are not allowed to have a tip cup at the Sharon location on South Main Street. That is also true a the Emerald Mall and a number of other places. Other shops, such as Main Street Foxborough and Norfolk center do allow it. It seems to completely depend on the whim of the franchisee.
Dennis Naughton February 28, 2013 at 06:01 PM
Note to Steve: My comments on Patch are my own, and have nothing to do with any position I might hold except by coincidence. The DSC website contains the state party platform and should you wish to read it, I encourage you to do so. The platform is generated and revised regularly by an open, grass roots process. In fact that process is in high gear right now. It will generate the platform that will be adopted at the July 13, 2013 Democratic State Convention in Lowell. The Foxborough Democratic Town Committee will host a platform hearing at the Foxborough Public Safety Building on Sunday, March 24, 2013.
deb of see-attleboro February 28, 2013 at 06:55 PM
That's right. I do recall visiting a DD on the Pawtucket/Seekonk line that did not allow tipping. Leaving this up to the franchisee is pretty dumb, IMO. I think it would be beneficial to the employee, the patron and the DD brand to have a singular policy regarding tipping. Having said that, I know many people who do quite well at chain coffee shops.
Steve February 28, 2013 at 07:19 PM
Ok so i "your" own words please answer my questions- If pouring coffee does not exemplify the perfect job to pay minimum wage what does?? What jobs should pay minimum wage if not counter help???? “They particularly exploit immigrants and others who cannot find other employment that pays a decent wage.” How is giving a job to someone that “cannot find other employment” exploitation???
Dennis Naughton February 28, 2013 at 07:47 PM
My personal response @Steve: I do not know what the hierarchy exists behind any given DD counter. However, for entry level staff, a minimum wage of $9.00 would be satisfactory to me at present. That is why I support raising the federal minimum wage to a minimum of $9.00. Further, all DD's should allow a tip cup on the counter in addition to that $9.00 wage; many franchisees do not currently allow this. Regarding exploitation of immigrants----that can take a variety of forms, certainly not all economoic, depending upon whether the individual is here legally or illegally. People who really need a job, or who may be here illegally may be required to do all kinds of things out of fear of reprisal or dismissal--not all of them work. Please note here that I am not saying that this is the case at DD, as I have no such evidence.
Steve February 28, 2013 at 08:49 PM
But your direct quote was at Dunkin Donuts "They particularly exploit immigrants and others who cannot find other employment that pays a decent wage"....Those are your own words, cut and pasted from your own post. So you agree that counter help should pay minimum wage, you just disagree with the current minimum wage. Let me ask you somehting about raising the minimum wage, doesn't that just increase the rate of inflation? And when the Minimum wage gets raised so does everybody elses rate go up and then the cost of manufacturing goes up anf then the price we pay at the stores goes up and by the time we finish, the person making minimum wage is actually making less money when you figure in inflation??

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