HR Policy Weighs In With the Senate on ACA Definition of Full-Time Employee

January 23, 2015

Laying the groundwork for a future Senate vote on the issue, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee held a hearing this week on changing the Affordable Care Act's definition of full-time employee to 40 hours per week.  Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN), said changing the ACA definition of full-time from 30 to 40 hours per week would give "as many as 2.6 million workers a pay raise."  In a letter of strong support for the Forty Hours Is Full-time Act (S. 30), introduced by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), HR Policy noted that "eliminating what amounts to a large tax on the 30th hour of work will effectively remove a ceiling on part-time employment and free up resources to increase the hours and take-home pay of part-time employees, without significantly impacting full-time workers."  On January 8, 12 Democrats joined with Republicans in the House to pass its version of the bill (H.R. 30).  It is unclear when the full Senate will take up the bipartisan bill which the President has said he will veto.