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Bill would change ‘full-time’ under ACA

August 07 2013

A new bill would change how potential penalties are calculated under the Affordable Care Act. It’s aimed at reducing the incentive for employers to limit the hours of workers.

The bill, H.R. 2988, would change the definition of “full-time” employee to 40 hours per week instead of 30 hours per week as in the law now.

The ACA calculates some penalties based on full-time employees. For example, a firm with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees would have to pay a penalty of $2,000 per full-time worker annually if it does not offer qualifying insurance to at least 95 percent of its workforce.

“Even with the Administration’s recent decision to delay the Obamacare employer mandate for one year, we already know some employers are preparing to meet the law’s guidelines by slashing workers’ hours and forcing them to work 29 hours a week or less,” U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., who introduced the bill, said in a press release on Friday. “This is reducing the take-home pay for millions of Americans at a time when they can least afford it.”

Lipinski’s bill was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means on Friday.

Separately, George Reardon, special counsel with employment law firm Littler Mendelson, recently wrote a two-part article on the ACA for Staffing Industry Review magazine. To go to part one, click here. To go to part two, click here.

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