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In response to media reports that Wegmans Food Markets planned to end health care benefits for its part-time workers after Obamacare (otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act) goes into effect, the grocer insists that these associates will be covered.
“Even though the new health care law is requiring some changes, we are not going to do anything that will hurt our employees,” noted Jo Natale, director of media relations at the Rochester, N.Y.-based grocer, in a written statement released to “clarify and correct the information.”
Continued Natale: “Wegmans will continue to offer health care benefits for part-time employees, but eligibility requirements will change. This change will not take effect for our existing part-time employees until 2015. We have met one on one with each impacted employee to reassure them and to let them know we are going to do everything we can to help them through these changes. Our proudest achievement has been our inclusion in Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list. We are there because we care deeply about our employees.”
In a July 11 article topped by what the company called “an awkwardly worded headline,” the Buffalo News reported that Wegmans had previously offered health insurance to part-timers who work a minimum of 20 hours per week, but fewer than 30 hours. Wegmans’ statement didn’t directly address whether this class of workers would no longer receive coverage, or offer any additional details on its plans regarding health care benefits.
Family-owned Wegmans operates 81 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts.