Sodexo re-establishes health benefits for college employees

BOSTON—After booting several thousand cafeteria workers off its health care plan last year, the food service company Sodexo has had a change of heart.

The Associated Press reports that French food giant announced Thursday that it would reestablish health care benefits for many employees who have lost coverage since January.

Sodexo—which employs 4,800 cafeteria workers on 30 university campuses in Massachusetts, according to The Boston Globe—had originally argued that Obamacare was forcing the company to rethink the way it distributed health care benefits.

The Affordable Care Act (as had Massachusetts’s 2006 health care reform legislation) imposes heavy penalties on employers who fail to provide health coverage for full-time employees, but Sodexo managed to skirt those restrictions reaction the the national law by reclassifying many employees as part-time.

Someone who works more than 30 hours a week is legally considered a full-time employee. But when Sodexo started to use average hours clocked over a year to determine eligibility, many of its workers fell short.

Those people were often university cafeteria workers. Although cafeteria workers often log more than the requisite 30 hours during the school year, many fell short when Sodexo included the summer months that school cafeterias lie vacant into its weekly average calculations. That pushed them into part-time territory, leaving them to find health coverage on their own.

After changing course Thursday, the company says it plans to reestablish those workers as full-time employees, once again eligible for insurance.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Foodservice operators and other employers in New York City are adjusting to a new law that enforces paid time off for staff who have been the victims of certain crimes.

Called paid safe leave, the benefit is believed to be among the first of its kind in the nation. A more limited version has been in effect in Minneapolis since last summer.

The New York law applies to employees who have been the victims of actual or threatened domestic violence, unwanted sexual contact, stalking or human trafficking.

Workers can also opt for safe paid leave if a member of their...

Industry News & Opinion

A Massachusetts bill to end lunch shaming has been stalled in the House, reports South Coast Today.

The House chair of the Education Committee voted on Tuesday for further study of the bill, which would prevent schools from throwing away hot lunches and/or serving an alternative meal to students behind on lunch payments. Under the bill, schools would also be unable to bar students with unpaid balances from participating in extracurricular activities.

Additionally, the bill asks schools to take action in reducing families’ meal debt by helping families apply for free or...

Industry News & Opinion

The University of California, Santa Cruz is converting its Cowell Coffee Shop into a “multi-service basic needs cafe” to aid students facing food insecurity .

The new cafe is being created through a partnership with dining services, the school’s center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems and UCSC’s Cowell College. Due to open at the start of the fall semester, the lower part of the cafe will continue to be a study space for students (with free coffee and tea) and will also host nutrition and financial wellness programming.

Upstairs, the kitchen will be used as a...

Managing Your Business
quitting job

What prompts foodservice managers to clean out their offices and head out with a last paycheck? A new survey suggests the triggers may be changing with the times.

The canvass of 2,000 restaurant professionals, conducted by placement firm Gecko Hospitality, shows lifestyle issues abounding among the top 10 reasons for parting with a restaurant employer last year.

Here are the gender-specific lists:

Top 10 reasons female managers leave

1. Better opportunity

2. Unemployed

3. Relocation

4. Not satisfied

5. No growth

6. Long...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code