Olive Garden owner to hold off on worker changes

Source : AP
Last Updated: Wed, Dec 05, 2012 20:30 hrs

The owner of Olive Garden and Red Lobster says it won't bump any full-time workers down to part-time status in the near term, after its tests aimed at limiting health care costs resulted in a publicity backlash that took a bite out of sales.

At the same time, Darden Restaurants Inc. isn't ruling out relying more heavily on part-timers over the long haul.

The company, based in Orlando, Fla., is set to announce the update on its workforce plans Thursday. The move comes two days after the company lowered its profit outlook, partly blaming negative publicity from tests that made more workers part-time.

The tests were aimed at keeping down costs tied to the health care overhaul, which require large companies to provide insurance to full-time workers starting in 2014.

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