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Forever 21

Forever 21 demoted its employees to part-time status 'to retaliate against Obamacare'?

Published Aug 18, 2013


Claim:   Forever 21 demoted its employees to part-time status "to retaliate against Obamacare."


Example:   [Collected via Facebook, August 2013]

Retail company Forever 21 sent this letter to all full time/non-management employees informing them that they will be demoted to part time, they and their families will lose their health and dental benefits, and they will no longer qualify for paid time off. Employees believe the company is punishing them to retaliate against Obamacare.

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Origins:   This letter from the trendy Forever 21 clothing retailer, informing an employee that he or she was being reduced to part-time status (and thus would lose company-provided health insurance coverage) as part of an overall reduction in full-time non-management positions, was posted on the Internet in mid-August 2013. That posting was accompanied by the claim that the same letter was sent to all of the company's full-time non-management employees, and that the primary motivation behind the move was to "retaliate" for the provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, commonly known as "Obamacare") mandating that employers with 50 or more full-time employees provide minimum essential health care coverage for their full-time employees or pay an annual penalty.

According to a response posted by Forever 21 on Facebook, the change in employee status affected only a small percentage of the company's employees and was motivated by sales levels rather than the implementation of the PPACA:

Forever 21, like all retailers, staffs its stores based on projected store sales, completely independent of the Affordable Care Act. After a recent evaluation, Forever 21 realigned its staffing needs to better reflect sales expectations. This realignment impacted less than 1% of all U.S. store employees. Forever 21 values all of its employees and made every effort to affect as few employees as possible in this realignment.

Last updated:   18 August 2013

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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