SeaWorld San Diego to Limit Part-Time Hours

Seaworld San Diego did not say if the Affordable Care Act, set to go into effect on Oct. 1, was a factor

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    In this handout image provided by SeaWorld San Diego, a baby killer whale swims with its mother. The park relies heavily on part-time and seasonal workers to operate.

    A local company that relies heavily on part-time and seasonal workers said it will be capping the hours for those workers to just below 28 beginning in 2014.

    The parent company of SeaWorld San Diego will be limiting hours for part-time employees.

    The move would enable the Orlando-based company to avoid paying healthcare costs for its 18,000 seasonal or part-time workers.

    NBC 7 News contacted SeaWorld San Diego to find out if the decision to limit the hours of part-time workers was connected to the new healthcare legislation known commonly as Obamacare.

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is set to go into effect on Oct. 1. The 2010 health reform law requires anyone with 50 or more workers provide health insurance to full-time employees.

    SeaWorld San Diego did not say if the ACA is a factor.

    A company spokesperson said the park will be hiring a significant number of full-time staffers but did not say how many.

    A recent report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research suggests few employers are planning to slash workers hours to get them below what’s considered full-time under ACA.

    Another survey, published by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, suggests few organizations plan to change their workforce hiring or reduction plans as a result of ACA.

    The survey reported 16-percent have adjusted to or plan to adjust hours so fewer employees qualify as full-time.

    Instead, more than half of employers surveyed by IFEBP said they plan to deal with the increased costs from ACA by shifting the cost to employees. More than a third of the companies surveyed said they plan to increase wellness plans to encourage employee participation.