Sunday, November 11

Employees fired for voting for Obama

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A caller to the "Washington Journal" program on C-Span calling himself "Stu" claiming that he is a small business owner from Williamson, Georgia, providing aviation services stated that he was reducing his employee hours from 30 to 25 hours a week in response to the re-election of President Obama and the ObamaCare rules that will be installed over the coming months. 

In addition to the reduction of employee hours, "Stu" claims that he reduced his overall workforce by laying off employees that "voted for Obama". 

I was asked: Isn't that illegal? People can't be fired in the United States because of who they vote for or what political Party they belong to right?

All US states except Montana adhere to "at will employment", under which employees can be fired at any time for any reason, unless there is a contract or union in place. 

Unfortunately, it is legal for an employer to make employment decisions on the basis of an employee’s political participation (or lack of participation - that's right they can "suggest" what candidates you might want to back and get away with it), unless the employee is in a state where making employment decisions on this basis is against the law.

In the last Presidential election, a case where a worker was fired for having a presidential candidate’s bumper sticker on her car received widespread attention, and shocked many workers. The reality is that more legal protection is needed if workers are to have the ability to safely express political views, especially those contrary to their employers’ views. This isn't a party thing, this is an American rights thing.

Doesn't the ObamaCare (Affordable Health Care Act) cost more for employers? Isn't that why they are going to start cutting hours and job's and reducing staff so they don't loose profits and start operating at a loss just because of ObamaCare?

The health care law does not require businesses to provide insurance. 

There are no new taxes on small employers in the law. The health care law does not require any business to provide health insurance for their employees. However, starting in 2014, a large employer may have to pay an assessment if it does not offer affordable insurance and one of its employees gets tax credits to purchase insurance in the Exchange. These assessments do not apply to businesses with less than 50 employees. Large employers that do not offer health benefits coverage at all may be required to pay an assessment of $2,000 per year for each full- time employee, excluding the first 30 full-time employees.  Larger employers that do offer health benefits coverage that is unaffordable or lacks minimum value may be assessed a payment of $3,000 per year for each full-time employee receiving federal financial assistance. However, this payment cannot exceed the assessment the business would pay if it did not offer health care coverage. 

The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that fewer than 2% of large American employers will have to pay these assessments.

For businesses with fewer than 50 full-time and full-time equivalent employees, there are no consequences for not providing health insurance. 

Employers with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from new employer responsibility policies. They don’t have to pay an assessment if their employees get tax credits through an Exchange.

(Links below are to PDF's from")
Small Businesses and the Affordable Care Act 
The Affordable Care Act - What it Means for Employers 
The Affordable Care Act - What it Means for Small Business

According to, 
  • If you have up to 25 employees, pay average annual wages below $50,000, and provide health insurance, you may qualify for a small business tax credit of up to 35% (up to 25% for non-profits) to offset the cost of your insurance. This will bring down the cost of providing insurance.
  • Under the health care law, employer-based plans that provide health insurance to retirees ages 55-64 can now get financial help through the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program. This program is designed to lower the cost of premiums for all employees and reduce employer health costs.
  • Starting in 2014, the small business tax credit goes up to 50% (up to 35% for non-profits) for qualifying businesses. This will make the cost of providing insurance even lower.

Small business owners can also find more information about ObamaCare from the IRS website, here: "Small Business Health Care Tax Credit for Small Employers."

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