Texas businessman suing government over health care law

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," May 3, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, the market may be soaring now, but with more of the health care law kicking in, how much longer is this going to last?

The new worry for a lot of bulls out there, more companies are cutting back worker hours to avoid these health care law penalties.

My guest knows this all too well. In fact, he is suing over it. Allen Tharp owns The Lion and Rose British Restaurant and Pub.

And, Allen, what are you suing over and who are you suing?


Well, the reason I got involved in this case in the first place is that I think it's important to not only stand up for my business, but for other businesses across the country that are going to be damaged by some of the consequences of this act.

And when you see America going off the tracks, I think we all have a responsibility to try to get it back on track if we can. There are regulations that are -- that have been written by the IRS under the ACA that will force employers to pay exorbitant fines or cut back on employee hours.

Well, I don't want to pay the fines because we would have to shut our doors if we did. Those fines equate to about $2,000 per employee. In our case, we have over 1,000 employees. So you're looking at $2 million in a fine that is not even tax-deductible.

But, also, I believe we're fighting for our employees, because to avoid those penalties, those huge penalties, we have had to cut hours from 40 to 28. So now our employees work 28 hours per week, instead of 40 hours per week. And it's been a difficult thing for some of our employees. We have had employees that have come up and asked me, they said, well, look, I have rent to pay, Mr. Tharp.

And I'm like, I understand that and I feel for you and I'm going to do everything to change this. But for now, I have the choice of giving you 28 hours or no hours, because if we don't comply with this law in the way that is affordable to us, then what happens is we close the doors and you get zero hours.

CAVUTO: Now, do you provide or did you provide coverage for these workers?

THARP: We provide, as most restaurants have -- provide coverage to certain segments.

CAVUTO: Right.

THARP: In our case, we provided coverage to managers, but we didn't provide coverage to our servers, our folks in Texas who make $2.13 an hour, but they make very good in tips.

CAVUTO: Right. And a lot of them tend to be young, and they come and go. And the argument was that it wasn't as pressing until the government made it a pressing case.

But what is the likelihood you would even succeed at this? Because the government seems to be saying, and as I'm sure you heard Harry Reid and Max Baucus saying, now we need more money. We're hardly going to junk this. We might have to pay more money to fix this, but we're not going to junk this.

What do you say?

THARP: Well, that is the problem.

At this point, it's people from both parties that are starting to question where are we going with this? Max Baucus is one. Rockefeller is another, one of the Democrats that really supported this in the beginning and was one of the architects of it.

CAVUTO: Right. Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia.

Go ahead. I'm sorry

THARP: Yes, yes. And now Rockefeller is saying that it's absolutely incomprehensible, it's a massive bill that nobody can understand. And I'm with him on that, because we try to understand and it and we don't. And Baucus said it's a train wreck coming down the pike, and it is. And that's what we see.

CAVUTO: It's interesting, because your -- who would know better than a guy that is trying to run a business about how that affects him.

Allen Tharp, thank you very, very much. Keep us posted on how this goes.

THARP: Thanks, Neil. It's a pleasure.

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