Senate HELP Committee Holds a Hearing the Week on Legislation that would Change the ACA Definition of “Full Time” to 40 Hours
NAHC members encouraged to contact their senators and urge them to support this legislation, which has already passed the House
January 22, 2015 12:00 PM
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) held a hearing this week on defining full-time work. The House recently passed legislation that defines “full time work” as 40 hours, rather than the current definition under the Affordable Act (ACA) of 30 hours.
The ACA includes an “employer mandate” that penalizes employers for not providing health insurance for their “full time” workers. However, a full time worker is defined as an employee who works just 30 hours a week and not the widely recognized standard 40 hour work week.
Home care agencies that are unable to provide health insurance or absorb the ACA penalties will have to restrict their employees to no more than 29 hours per week to ensure their workers are considered part-time under the ACA. This would weaken patient access to care, reduce wages and working hours of home care staff, and require home care companies to rely on part-time caregivers.
Earlier this month, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, along with three of her colleagues: Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), introduced legislation to cancel the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) 30 hour definition of full time work and return the U.S. to the more universally accepted standard of 40 hours a week.
At a press conference introducing this legislation, Senator Collins said, “The ACA law creates a perverse incentive for businesses to cut their employees’ hours so they are no longer considered “full time.” Our concerns are not hypothetical; more than 450 employers have already cut work hours or staffing levels in response to the law as of September 2013. Employees of for-profit businesses are not the only ones who are threatened by this illogical definition of full-time work. In Maine, I have heard from organizations like home care agencies, hospitals, and school departments. Our goal is simple. We want to protect part-time workers from having their hours reduced and their paychecks cut because of the definition in this law.”
NAHC urges all of its members to send a message to their senators urging them to support this legislation this week.
To send a message to your senators, please click here.
To learn more about the “40 Hours is Full Time” Act, please click here.
For more on tomorrow’s Senate hearing, please click here.