MINOCQUA - ObamaCare will dig into the pocketbooks of part-time workers at one of the Northwoods' biggest employers.
If Trig's Supermarkets hadn't cut part-time work hours, it would have been out of business within a year.
That's what a consultant told the company.
About two-thirds of the 1,100 Trig's employees are part-time workers.
But if they work more than 30 hours a week, the president's health care legislation technically considers them full time.
That means Trig's would be forced to provide health insurance to those workers.
The report said keeping the work schedules as they were AND providing that health coverage would have been disastrous to the company's bottom line.
"Doing nothing was not an option. It would have put us out of business. Within a year, it would have put us out of business. There's no doubt about that. So obviously we've had to make some changes," says Angie Dreifuerst, Trig's' Vice President of HR, Benefits, and MIS.
Those changes include promoting a few workers to full time.
But the biggest impact comes to the 65 percent of employees working part-time.
They're not allowed to work more than 30 hours per week.
That way, Trig's can avoid considering them full time workers.
"Yeah, they were frustrated, but I believe they also understood why we had to make the decisions that we did. I said, 'this isn't good for you, this isn't good for us, it's not what we want to do either.' Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of options. We have to do what we have to do to comply and stay viable," she says.
Companies like Trig's aren't the only ones facing employment challenges from the Affordable Care Act.
Even school districts like Minocqua-Hazelhurst-Lake Tomahawk have taken steps to make sure their part-time workers stay under the 30 hour threshold.
RHINELANDER - Nicolet College's Motorcycle Basic Rider Course teaches folks to safely hit the road on their bike.
The class is in full swing for the season.
Nicolet College Rider Coach Mike Murray says even experienced riders can use a "safety brush-up" this time of year.
Riders should always wear their helmet, long pants and shirts, gloves, and boots.
It's also important to keep your eyes moving for critters that come out of the woods,especially deer.
"If you know you're going to hit it: let off your brakes, hit it with your handle bars straight ahead looking straight ahead so that your bike stays straight up," says rider coach Mike Murray.
The course covers the basics about motorcycles and riding techniques.
It's meant to build confidence when you ride, so that you're prepared for emergencies on the road.
"I've been a rider for a long time. When I completed the class, I had to look back and say man there is a lot of stuff I learned here and a lot of things I was doing the wrong way," says program coordinator Mark England.
You have until October to sign up for the Basic Rider Course at Nicolet.
ANTIGO - Shaughn Novy figured the perfect place to make a big announcement would be, literally, on her high horse. On a brown horse, Wenesday Novy announced a significant grant to help promote a rodeo dedicated to Antigo's rich equestrian history.
Novy and her family recently opened the non-profit Black Hawk Hill Horse Park in Antigo. It focuses on teambuilding and leadership, using horses to teach those skills.
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