By Elise Viebeck - 01/10/14 11:45 AM EST
Disgruntled workers are blaming ObamaCare after Staples ordered managers not to schedule any part-time associates for more than 25 hours per week.
An anonymous petition at Change.org urges the office supply chain to reverse its policy, calling the cuts "stunning" and "heartbreaking."
"The TRUE reason [for the cuts is] obvious: Staples didn't want to follow the law and provide better healthcare to its employees," the worker wrote online.
"Instead, it's giving its part-time workers a de facto pay cut and saving money by using a loophole."
More than 168,000 had signed the petition as of Friday morning.
The requirement under the healthcare law's employer mandate is likely to inspire debate this year ahead of the first compliance deadline in 2015.
The White House argues that there is little evidence to suggest the policy is raising the number of part-time workers. The retail lobby strongly opposes the mandate.
Staples, which did not mention ObamaCare in its directive, told reporters that the company has historically limited hours for part-time workers.