Threats to Fire Workers Raise Legal Issues Under Healthcare Law


As major restaurant chains such as Papa John’s and Applebee’s threaten to fire workers or reduce their hours rather than provide affordable coverage under the Affordable Care Act in 2014, it is unclear what remedies, if any, employees would have for wrongful termination or demotion. While individual employees may lack a legal remedy for wrongful termination or demotion, the federal government might because employers with 50 or more employees who do not offer affordable coverage will be required to pay a penalty. Firing employees to avoid paying the penalty may be actionable by the federal government to recoup the penalties that would have otherwise been paid.

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