- The Washington Times - Monday, April 14, 2014

A D.C.-area grocery store says it has been forced to freeze hiring to avoid costs tied to a new rule under Obamacare.

The Washington Free Beacon reports that Snider’s Superfoods of Silver Spring, Md., will not hire new cashiers or baggers so it can stay below a 50-employee threshold under Obamacare’s “employer mandate.”

Under the mandate, companies with 50 or more employees must provide health coverage or pay fines if at least one of their workers takes advantage of tax credits on the law’s new health exchanges.

The mandate, which has been delayed twice, will kick in for employers of 50-99 workers in 2016 and phase in for companies of 100 or more workers in 2015.

Republican critics of the law — and some Democrats — have held up the mandate as a serious impediment to hiring among small employers.

They also said employers are cutting part-time workers’ hours to 29 or less, because people who labor for 30 hours or more per week are considered full-time by the health care law and count toward the mandate’s threshold.

The Republican-led House voted last week to change the definition of full-time work under Obamacare from 30 hours to the more traditional 40 hours, however the effort has not gained traction in the Democrat-led Senate.

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