U.S. Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) and Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) Thursday introduced the Save American Workers Act (H.R. 3798), bipartisan legislation to provide relief to middle class families by restoring the traditional 40-hour work week under the Affordable Care Act.
“Obamacare’s burdensome employer mandate and its redefinition of full-time workers are hurting middle class American families and crushing our job creators,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “The Save American Workers Act will provide much-needed relief to hardworking Hoosiers who have faced reduced hours and fewer jobs. This bipartisan, commonsense bill will give businesses the certainty they need to create jobs, and it will give workers the opportunities they need to succeed.”
“Most Americans will tell you that a full-time workweek is 40 hours, but the ACA defines full-time as 30 hours,” Congressman Lipinski said. “In its current form, the ACA puts the take-home-pay and scheduling flexibility for millions of hard-working Americans at risk. With reduced hours or the inability to exchange shifts with coworkers, families would be forced to live with less or find another part-time job to try to make up the difference. Changing the law to keep middle-class families from having to make this painful choice is just common sense, and hopefully this bill can be a step towards making the ACA work better for all Americans.”
“Under the Affordable Care Act’s 30-hour definition, we’ve seen a substantial increase in the amount of reporting requirements we now need to meet,” said Mark McDonnell, founder and proprietor of LaSalle Grill in South Bend, Ind. “A full time workweek has always been categorized as 40 hours and this new definition took away the flexibility that attracted employees to LaSalle Grill. Now, we have to closely monitor anyone who fluctuates between 20 to 40 hours per week, making it extremely expensive and difficult to track.”
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, requires employers with more than 50 full-time equivalent workers to offer health insurance to full-time employees or face a penalty.
The law defines full-time status as 30 hours of work per week, significantly below the traditional definition of 40 hours. This has forced businesses to reduce hours and slow hiring in order to avoid unaffordable new costs or the ACA’s substantial fines. The 30-hour definition has affected workers in the private sector as well as city, state, and school employees, with a particularly severe impact on hourly, part-time, and seasonal workers.
The bipartisan Save American Workers Act, which passed the House in 2014 and 2015, would provide relief to middle class families and certainty for job creators by changing the definition of a full-time employee under the ACA to 40 hours per week, putting it back in line with the widely-used traditional definition.
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.