NAHU activated Operation Shout this week in support of legislation to restore the 40-hour workweek from the ACA’s 30-hour full-time definition. Last Thursday, Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced S. 1510 and Representatives Jackie Walorski (R-IN) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL) introduced H.R. 2782, the Employee Flexibility Act. These bipartisan bills will provide much-needed relief for employers that must comply with tracking employee hours and employees who have seen their pay reduced due to a corresponding reduction in work hours. While previous iterations of this legislation have not passed both chambers for the president’s consideration, with the newly divided Congress and renewed focus on finding bipartisan solutions to ongoing health-reform challenges, we are greatly encouraged by the re-introduction of this legislation in the new session of Congress and call on all NAHU members to tell your legislators to support these bills.
Setting the definition of a full-time employee from 30 hours to the traditional 40-hours standard will help prevent employees from losing needed hours and reduce employer exposure to the ACA’s employer shared responsibility requirements. Employers large and small are finding it difficult to comply with this change from the traditional standard for a full-time employee and the extensive tracking of employee hours it requires. As a result, many employers that have not traditionally provided coverage to workers averaging less than 40 hours a week are reducing employee hours to well below 30 hours a week to avoid the possibility that an employee slips over the 30-hour threshold. According to a study by the University of California Berkeley Labor Center, at least 2.3 million workers are at risk of reduced hours as a result of this requirement.
This provision of the law makes it harder for employers to run their businesses and for American workers to provide for their families, and stalls overall economic growth. Employees who do not have access to employer coverage, including those workers with reduced hours, have the option of buying individual coverage including, if eligible, subsidized coverage through the marketplaces. However, with their hours being cut, these workers are ultimately less able to afford coverage, especially if they are not eligible for federal tax credits, and often pay the individual mandate penalty instead.
NAHU believes that the 30-hour workweek requirement is hurting both American employees and the companies that drive economic productivity. That’s why we are again strongly urging bipartisan support on the legislation to demonstrate the importance of changing the workweek back to 40 hours for employers who are burdened with the extensive tracking of employee hours as well as employees who are seeing their hours slashed and paychecks reduced. Earlier this week, NAHU will be sent an Operation Shout on this bill, and we encourage you to help spread the message of the importance of the legislation by emailing your senators and asking them to co-sponsor and vote for the Employee Flexibility Act.
Contact your senators and representative. Send an Operation Shout today asking your legislators to support H.R. 2782 and S. 1510.