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Philadelphia Employment Lawyers: Reduced Hours May Lead to Discrimination Claims

April 11th, 2016
class action

There is a class action case pending in the Federal Southern District of New York alleging the popular family bar and restaurant, Dave and Buster’s, discriminated against its employees by cutting work hours to avoid providing those employees with health insurance. The case has not reached trial and there has not been any determination of the merits of the class action case.

Under the Affordable Care Act, also known as ACA but more popularly referred to as Obamacare, employers who have at least 50 full-time employees must provide reasonably priced minimum value health insurance to those employees and their dependents. This is often called the employer mandate. Under a different but related law, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), a full-time employee is any employee who works at least 30 hours per week. More importantly, and critically for the class action suit against Dave and Buster’s, ERISA also prevents an employer from discriminating against an employee in the form of cutting work hours or other similar actions to prevent an employee from obtaining certain employment benefits.

This case is the first of its kind to test such actions by an employer under the employer mandate as it relates to substantive rights under ERISA. Recently, Dave and Buster’s tried to have the case dismissed on the grounds that the plaintiff failed to make legally sufficient allegations of such discrimination and that the plaintiff class failed to properly allege that they were entitled to participate in the health insurance plans called for under ACA. The Court disagreed and has let the case continue. One particularly compelling factual allegation in this case is that at one point, management for Dave & Buster’s had a meeting with staff where they indicated that the employer mandate will cost the company millions. Management allegedly indicated they were to cut hours in order to circumvent the employer mandate. Regardless of whether or not the case survives to trial, goes to appeal, is dismissed or even settles, it is projected that there will be many cases with similar allegations.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates Uphold the Rights Guaranteed by ERISA for Employees

If you believe that your employer cut your working hours to avoid providing health insurance, contact the seasoned Philadelphia employment discrimination lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates. We are dedicated to defending employees’ rights to the fullest extent under the law. We represent employees in  Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York. Call us at 215-569-1999 or submit an online contact form to learn more about your options today.

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