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How Will the New 30 Hour Workweek ACA Provisions Affect Businesses?

Friday, October 17, 2014   (0 Comments)
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How Will the New 30 Hour Workweek ACA Provisions Affect Businesses?

Of the many employer compliance provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that took effect in 2014, many HR and Payroll departments have found that one of the most immediate impacts has been determining which employees qualify as “full-time employees” under the law.

Defined under the ACA, an employee’s monthly status as full-time is an average of just over 30 hours per week, at least 130 hours a month. This is quite a drastic change from the 40 hour workweek of recent years.

In the time since the provisions of the ACA, it has become apparent that 30 hours a week doesn’t work for many restaurants or their employees and businesses are being forced to make difficult decisions to comply with the law’s redefinition of a full-time workweek.

As such, in an attempt to urge Congress to change the health care law’s definition of “full time” to the traditional 40 hours a week, a number of major business groups joined together to form the More Time for Full Time initiative.

“As all Americans have known for decades, 40 hours represents the widely-accepted definition of a full-time workweek. Unless there is a statutory change to the definition of a full-time employee in the ACA, there will be fewer full-time jobs, more part-time workers and fewer overall hours available for Americans to work,” said International Franchise Association President & CEO Steve Caldeira. “This initiative will bring greater focus to the negative impact this law is having for workers and employers and hopefully move us closer to the bipartisan reform we need.”

Helping lead the movement is the National Restaurant Association (NRA). Other organizations involved include: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Retail Federation, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the International Franchise Association, the American Rental Association, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, the National Association of Convenience Stores, the National Grocers Association, and the National Association of Theatre Owners.

According to the NRA, “The organizations taking part in the initiative are united by their belief that aligning the health care law’s definition of full-time employee with the traditional 40-hour definition would benefit employees through more hours and income and allow employers to focus on growing their businesses and creating jobs rather than restructuring their workforce.”

Without a change in the law, employers with 50 or more full-time employees — using 30 hours a week as the baseline for determining who is full time — may have to significantly limit scheduling flexibility for their employees and eliminate the aspect of restaurant employment that has driven millions to work in the industry.

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