U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES VOTES TO ALTER DEFINITION OF FULL TIME EMPLOYMENT UNDER THE ACA
May 12, 2014
By a vote of 248-179, the U.S. House has voted to reduce the number of employees who would be covered by the so-called "employer mandate" under the Affordable Care Act ("ACA"). The Save American Workers Act (H.R. 2575) would define full time employment under the ACA as 40 hours per week, up from 30 hours per week.
Under the ACA, employers with more than 50 full time employees will be required to offer affordable insurance to all full time employees. This employer mandate is slated to take effect on January 1, 2015. (Note: certain mid-sized employers may be able to delay implementation until January 1, 2016). By redefining what constitutes "full time" employment and increasing the hours threshold, the proposed legislation would reduce the number of employers that would be obligated to comply with the ACA. Supporters of the legislation point out that the change would protect workers by taking away an employer's incentive to reduce employees' hours (and thus their wages) in order to avoid having to comply with the ACA.
President Obama has vowed to veto this legislation if it lands on his desk.