Welcome to Theme Park Insider! Join the community or log in
Theme Park Insider
Facebook Twitter YouTube Email Newsletter

Part Time Sea World Employees

Less hours per work week for employees coming.

From Joseph Catlett
Posted September 11, 2013 at 1:27 PM
Sea World parks released a statement that was reported by the ORLANDO SENTINEL newspaper that confirms that their part time employee work force of about 18,000 will soon have their hours cut. Currently, their part time workers top off at 32 hours scheduled a week. The new cut off will be 28 hours in order to not comply with the offering of healthcare benefits which the Affordable Care Law, or Obamacare as it is known in the vernacular, requires as of this October 1st.

Its sad to see these theme park employees (of the parks' total 22k employees, 18K are part time or seasonal)get this treatment. I remember when I was younger and worked part time a 4 hour cut in hours really could sting...I can't imagine how badly it would be for an unskilled worker with two part time jobs and a couple of kids.

Oh well...it seems like the law of unintended consequences still works.

So what do you folks think...is this Sea World being greedy by not wanting to give out health care benefits or fall out from the Affordable Care Law which had good intentions but now seems to make more part time employees poorer?


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Robert Niles
Posted September 11, 2013 at 1:32 PM
Actually, I think the ACA has less to do with SeaWorld cutting hours than SeaWorld's poor attendance has. Let's not forget that SeaWorld's been offering mid-summer, high-season discounts left and right in an attempt to boost its numbers. And SeaWorld's also announced that it is adding full-time positions (with health benefits) as it tries to retain what it sees as the best of its part-time workers, rather than lose them in an hours cut.

But the net effect is to cut hours to match less-than-anticipated attendance. The health care spin's getting attention because it serves the political agenda of the publications promoting it. (And, I think, SeaWorld is perfectly happy for Joe Public's blame to go somewhere other than on SeaWorld here.) Cut through that, though, and this is a classic story of theme park staffing. Attendance down = hours cut. Attendance up = lots of overtime, then hiring new positions. Same as it ever was.

When SeaWorld's numbers goes up, remaining part-timers will get more hours, then SeaWorld will pay whatever wage and benefits it needs to in order to staff its parks to serve that increased attendance.

From Derek Potter
Posted September 12, 2013 at 6:47 PM
I'm betting it's a mixture of both. Their current circumstance may allow for reduced hours, but I think the precedent is also being set for future company policy with regards to staffing. When the mandate kicks in, companies with that many low wage positions will make most of them part time and simply hire more part timers. Overtime will be spread out to prevent any of them from reaching full time status. Their cost increase (and ultimately our price increase) would be immense if they didn't lessen the number of employees they would have to cover. That's just business 101, which our current leadership...if you can call it that...apparently just doesn't get. This practice is already beginning with low wage positions across several industries now. By the time the 2015 mandate rolls around (imagine that...right after the next election), it will be standard operating procedure. If Disney and Universal haven't done this yet, they will by then, and so will the rest of the year round operations. They can't afford not to.

This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.

Planning a trip to Orlando?

Walt Disney World

Insider's Pick: Get all the best advice from ThemeParkInsider.com in one convenient book! Theme Park Insider Orlando 2014 offers you the insight, background, and how-to skills that will help you enjoy Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando like, well, a theme park insider. Save yourself time and money by learning how to visit the Orlando-area theme parks the insiders' way.

Get it! In paperback | For Kindle | For iBooks