July 26, 2013
This week, HR Policy Association sent a letter to Congress strongly supporting making the definition of a full-time employee in the Affordable Care Act consistent with the traditional 40-hour work week. The letter, which supports the Forty Hours Is Full-time Act of 2013 (S. 1188), states: "Employers and employees need a more common-sense definition of a full-time employee in the ACA to reduce the harmful unintended consequences of the law." Under the ACA, full-time employment is currently defined as working an average 30 hours per week, and employers that do not offer full-time employees health care coverage may be subject to a penalty beginning in 2015. Increasing the average hour threshold for the penalty from 30 hours per week to the traditional definition of a full-time employee would eliminate the incentive in the ACA for employers to restructure their workforces to avoid the employer penalties while also encouraging the hiring of full-time employees. The Association urged the Senate to pass the bipartisan bill this year.