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ORLANDO -- Darden Restaurants, the company that operates Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants nationwide, is experimenting with limiting hours of some employees to avoid health care requirements introduced in the Affordable Care Act.

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The pilot project is only occurring at a "select number" of restaurants, the Orlando Sentinel said, while the restaurant company determines whether it is a viable option.

Under a provision of Obamacare that will take effect in 2014, all large companies must offer health care to employees who work 30 hours or more per week.

Orlando, Fla.-based Darden is the world's largest casual dining company and has about 185,000 employees. If widely implemented, according to observers, the plan to limit worker hours could result in less-skilled workers and a higher turnover.

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