Target: Forever 21 CEO Do Won Chang
Goal: Get health benefits and full-time hours back for employees
Just this week, a memo from popular clothing store Forever 21 shows that they plan to cut some workers’ hours to 29.5 hours per week, making them ineligible for health benefits under the Affordable Care Act. Since the Act requires all full-time workers to be covered by companies that employ 50 or more people, a 30-hour week is essential to whether or not these workers receive benefits. By cutting some current full-time employees to part-time, the company is no longer required to cover them. Starting August 31, these employees who were previously covered by Forever 21 will lose their health care plans, and will no longer get paid time off.
Forever 21 has denied that they are cutting worker hours in protest of the Affordable Care Act, although the company appears to be doing well, leaving some question as to where the extra money will go. The full-time cut includes Stock Associates, Sales Associates, Store Maintenance Associates, Accessory Specialists, and Cashiers. There is no number given regarding how many employees this will affect, although Forever 21 claims it will only affect about 1% of their 30,000 employees.
Even if this cut will only affect 300 people, this could just be the tip of the iceberg. Forever 21 needs to get the message that dropping employee health coverage is wrong. Everyone deserves health care, and we need to stand up to Forever 21 trying to deny their employees coverage.
Dear Mr. Chang,
It has come to my attention that your company is cutting an unspecified number of employees to part-time positions, as well as cutting their health coverage and paid time off. This leaves many of your previously full-time employees without medical, dental and vision plans. This not only creates enormous problems for the employees directly affected by this cut, but also adds to the already estimated 44 million Americans without health coverage.
By cutting some employees’ hours to 29.5 per week, just under the 30 hours required to be a full-time employee, it appears as though you are doing your best to pay your employees the least. The focus seems to be on minimizing the company’s contribution to the employees, instead of maximizing the employee’s contribution to the company. Cutting hours and health care not only upsets and disgruntles employees, but sends a negative message to many customers.
People without health insurance are more likely to forego treatment and regular care because they cannot afford it. This often leads to people being diagnosed in late stages of conditions which could have been diagnosed much sooner, or ending up in the hospital for things that could have been prevented. This of course results in higher health care costs for everyone, even those with insurance.
Leaving your employees without coverage is unfair. Although your company has denied that the Affordable Care Act is a factor in these cuts, Forever 21 appears to be doing well with estimated 2012 revenue exceeding $4 billion, and there is no other apparent reason to cut these employees to part time and take away their coverage. Everyone deserves to have health coverage, especially working for such a successful business. It is essential that you give these employees back their hours and their coverage.
[Your Name Here]
Mike Kalasnik via flickr