The House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) released the following statement ahead of today’s House vote on the Save American Workers Act (HR 2575):
“The health law’s 30-hour full-time workweek definition is weakening America’s workforce culture and standards,” said Chairman Graves. “We have seen the consequences of this full-time definition take hold and none of it is good for our economy. Not only have small businesses been burdened by requirements that increases their health care costs, but also many workers’ hours have been cut, causing more harm to Americans who can least afford it in an already tough job climate. Small businesses overwhelmingly support the repeal of this definition, and I call on the Senate to take up the Save American Workers Act.”
The Save American Workers Act would repeal the 30-hour definition of full-time employment in the health care law. Small businesses oppose this definition and its implications on the American work culture. Here are a few comments the Committee has received from small business owners:
Steven Hermann, Vice President of Paul's Supermarket, Inc. in Eldon, Missouri, said during the Committee’s October 9, 2013 hearing titled, The Effects of the Health Law's Definitions of Full-Time Employee on Small Businesses, “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."
Rebecca Lloyd, a small business owner from Oneonta, New York, told our Committee last year through our interactive website Small Biz Open Mic, “We need to grow to stay competitive and yet when we grow the consequences of the ACA will financially harm us. We offer health care options to all full time employees (40 hours per week). The ACA will require us to offer benefits to all 30 hour employees as well as all seasonal employees. Our season is 8-9 months. The reduced headcount limits our manufacturing potential and consequently our sales.”
Stephen Bienko, President and Owner of Bienko Enterprises Moving Line in Fairfield, New Jersey, said during the Committee’s October 9, 2013 hearing, “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.”