Los Angeles-based clothing retailer Forever 21 has denied cutting employees’ hours due to Obamacare. The company had recently announced that it would reduce some employees hours to 29.5 a week, just under the full-time employment level required for the Affordable Care Act. Critics believe the decision was a calculated move to avoid paying for the new federally required health care.

However, in a recent statement, a company spokesperson denied those allegations saying, “Forever 21, like all retailers, staffs its stores based on projected store sales, completely independent of the Affordable Care Act. After a recent evaluation, Forever 21 realigned its staffing needs to better reflect sales expectations. This realignment impacted 196 employees, less than 1 percent of all U.S. store employees. Furthermore, Forever 21 regularly promotes and converts employees in the ordinary course of business. Since the start of our fiscal year, March 1, 2013, Forever 21 has converted 421 part-time store employees to full-time status making them benefits eligible. Forever 21 values all of its employees and made every effort to affect as few employees as possible in this realignment.”