Home » House Passes Bill To Raise ACA’s ‘Full-Time’ Definition

House Passes Bill To Raise ACA’s ‘Full-Time’ Definition

Save American Workers Act screenshot

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Save American Workers Act by a bipartisan vote of 248 to 179 on Thursday. House Resolution 2575, introduced by Congressman Todd Young (R-Ind.) and also championed by Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), would change the new definition of a full-time employee under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) from 30 hours per week to 40 hours per week per month.

The National Grocers Association (NGA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) applaud the move.

“Simply stated, the new definition of a full-time employee does not reflect the needs of our members’ workforces, and will impact the makeup of the entire American workforce by drastically altering what opportunities are available to part-time workers who choose to work part-time jobs,” said Peter J. Larkin, president and CEO of NGA. “We are pleased to see HR 2575 pass on a bipartisan basis as it realigns the law to better reflect current employment practices. And, more importantly, the definitional change will allow our members to return their focus to being an employer of choice in the communities they serve. We are grateful for Congressman Young’s leadership on bringing this bill forward and look for swift consideration in the Senate.”

Jennifer Hatcher, FMI SVP of government and public affairs, added, “FMI greatly appreciates House passage of HR 2575—the Save American Workers Act of 2014—to raise the Affordable Care Act’s 30-hour per week ‘full-time employee’ definition to practical workforce standards. We thank every representative who voted in support of HR 2575 on behalf of their neighborhood grocery stores.

“Just the other day, the president indicated the administration’s interest in working with others to improve or fix problems with the ACA. HR 2575 addresses a fundamental problem with the ACA—defining full-time workers as those averaging 30 hours per week—without repealing or dismantling the law.

“There is a growing consensus that the ACA’s re-defining a full-time employee as someone who averages 30 hours per week is impacting the American workforce—both in workers’ take-home pay and operating a variable-hour business like a supermarket. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has noted the impact of the ACA on workers’ hours and take-home pay. CBO also estimates that, under HR 2575, employers will not only continue to offer coverage, but remain the primary sponsor of health coverage by a wide margin.

“Indeed, HR 2575 provides additional flexibility that allows food retailers and wholesalers to continue offering quality, affordable health coverage to their employees. Most of all, House passage of HR 2575 is a critical step for policymakers to lift the ACA’s 30-hour per week full-time employee definition this year.

“We look to lawmakers in the Senate for support of this important and common-sense change to reflect practical workforce standards.”

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