With Obamacare about to become a reality, Walt Disney World has offered to upgrade 427 part-time employees to full-time status, thereby qualifying them for employer-paid health insurance. Typically working approximately 25 hours a week, some part-timers have managed to accumulate 1500 hours per annum, the minimum to qualify as full-time employment under the Affordable Care Act, by working extra shifts. Although this can be seen as a positive move on Disney’s part, officials of the unions representing park employees are purportedly reluctant to accept the offer because, according to the Orlando Sentinel, “it could mean elevating some employees over more-senior part-timers who have been waiting for full-time positions.” While somewhat controversial for this reason, Disney’s initiative is likely to prove more beneficial than not. (In the UK you have the National Health; in the USA you have millions of unemployed or underemployed people who can ill afford health insurance and will be forced to purchase it or pay a tax penalty when the new law goes into effect.)
SeaWorld, on the other hand, is reportedly going to cut part-timers’ hours to 28 a week, thus disqualifying them for employer-paid insurance coverage under Obamacare. The park will, however, add full-time employees who qualify for medical benefits.