Friday, February 13, 2015

Just The Staples

There are plenty of weeks that go by when I wish someone would tell me that I shouldn't work more than twenty-five hours during it. That would be a relief. Of course, those twenty-five hours would be what I get paid for, and therefore I would probably not be happy for long. This is essentially the case for thousands of Staples employees, the ones who are in danger of crossing that thirty hour a week limit. That limit is the one that sets the Affordable Care Act into motion. "Obamacare" says that employees who work thirty hours or more are to be given benefits beyond free desk pads. They should be offered health insurance.
Health insurance? For working part time at an office supply store? That's ridiculous, right? Not necessarily. I've got two words for you: paper cuts. Left untreated they could become infected and eventually cause paralysis and death. Perhaps that's a little extreme, but I'm guessing that part of the problem is that a behemoth like Staples, who have enough capital to affix their name to a sports arena in Los Angeles, is probably not hurting for business. As a matter of fact, their business just acquired another big business when Staples purchased Office Depot. So maybe the powers-that-be in the front office are feeling a little nervous, having just shelled out thirty-six billion dollars for this big slice of the paper clip and post-it pie. How on earth would you expect them to pay for all those part time employees' health care?
Simple: don't. By keeping their staff at a certain level of hours per week, they can avoid having to pay into a system that they probably didn't vote for in the first place. Check that. Certainly didn't pay for. The Chief Executroids at Staples didn't make their billions just to go handing it off to the people who work for them. That would be un-American, or at least un-certain-parts-of-American. To ensure that these "workers" don't gum up the works any further by asking for things like insurance or breaks, the corporate office has threatened to fire any of these slackers who insist on working more than twenty-five hours a week. Next thing you know, they'll be asking for a living wage.
And the beat goes on.

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