Obamacare Full-Time Definition Forces Small Businesses To Limit Hours, Hold Off Growth

Small Business Owner: “Many businesses can’t afford to provide coverage to workers who average 30 hours per week”

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Washington D.C., Oct 9, 2013 | DJ Jordan, Joel Hannahs (202-225-5821) | comments

House Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology, under the chairmanship of Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), today held a hearing to examine how the Obamacare definition of full-time employees, at 30 hours per week, is affecting small businesses, their employees, and the economy.

“This month’s Obamacare roll-out glitches are part of a long line of problems with this law, and its unprecedented definition of a full-time employee is fueling the nation’s underemployment trend and harming the economy,” said Chairman Collins. “The evidence is clear. The fact that part-time work has made up the majority of the job growth so far this year is proof. This law is forcing more companies to limit hours so they can remain open. Based on reports, numerous independent surveys of small businesses, and the testimony of today’s witnesses, more employees, both full- and part-time, will see their hours reduced because of this health law.”

Even though other federal labor laws consider full-time employment to be 40 hours per week, the health law defines a full-time employee as one who works 30 hours or more per week. Well-known businesses and franchise businesses such as Regal Entertainment, Trader Joe’s, Wal-Mart, Subway, Five Guys, Sea World, Cheesecake Factory, White Castle and many others have been forced to limit their employees’ hours.

The Save American Workers Act (H.R. 2575), sponsored by Rep. Todd Young (R-IN), would repeal the 30-hour definition of full-time employment in the health care law. H.R. 2575 currently has over 150 cosponsors.

Materials from the hearing are available on the Committee’s website HERE.

Notable Quotes:

Steven Hermann, Vice President of Paul's Supermarket, Inc. in Eldon, MO, said, “Employers, such as myself, very much want to continue providing quality benefits to our full-time employees, recognizing that a healthy employee is a productive employee. However, many businesses simply cannot afford to provide coverage to workers who average 30 hours per week. Thus, small business owners will have to make tough choices and many part-time employees will face reduced hours and smaller paychecks."

Stephen Bienko, President and Owner of Bienko Enterprises Moving Line in Fairfield, NJ, said, “I have offered my full-time team members health coverage even without the employer mandate, and I have every intention of continuing that coverage, even as I continue to expand my business. However, the increased cost of doing business by providing coverage to employees with fluctuating schedules that only occasionally put them into full-time status will leave me no choice but to scale back my expansion plans. Not only has the employer mandate discouraged job creation and business expansion, it has also damaged existing jobs by including a misguided statutory requirement that discarded more than a half-century of established labor policy by now defining “full-time” as 30 hours per week.

“Many franchise businesses are being turned upside-down by the new costs, complexities and requirements of the law. Allowing employers to continue with the current and traditional workforce management practices provides more personal stability in a period of continued economic uncertainty and recovery
.”

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