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West Coast-based Fatburger CEO Andy Wiederhorn, who went to prison in the mid-2000s for concealing massive loan losses and a Ponzi-like scheme with investment firm Capital Consultants, has just appeared on television's business station CNBC at 3:30 p.m. EST. Wiederhorn says his franchise owners have found a way around ObamaCare requirements.
It shows that there is still considerable confusion over the Affordable Care Act.
The CEO first stressed that his company, Fatburger Corp, makes sure it provides health benefits to its 200 employees. However, it is the franchise owners who cannot afford it. The restaurant industry runs on ten to fifteen percent margins, according to the CEO, so franchisees are particularly concerned about rises in costs.
"Franchises are afraid and they are the ones" who are taking steps to avoid ObamaCare, he said. When the franchise owner starts his second Fatburger store, which puts him over 50 employees according to Wiederhorn, the franchisee will "job share" the employee. The employee will be cut off from further work just shy of 30 hours. He will work additional hours for the company across the street while the other business sends its under 30 hour employee to the franchise to continue to work. The two share part-time employees to avoid ObamaCare's mandatory penalty on large firms with 50 or more employees who do not offer health care insurance.
Wiederhorn's prescription? He thinks the government should be clearer on what the law is.