Republicans to Define Full-Time Work Week as 40 Hours Under Obamacare

Date: November 14, 2014

Change Could be Key for Many Small Businesses

Update: The bill, H.R. 30, passed the US House on January 8, 2015, with bipartisan support by a vote of 252-172. It goes next to the Senate where it will need 60 votes to proceed to the President’s desk. In the Senate the measure has two Democratic co-sponsors: Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly and West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin. Four more Democrats would have to cross over to support the measure in order to advance. Read NFIB’s Press Release on the House vote.

Republican
leaders, set to control both the House and Senate next year, plan to
hold Obamacare repeal votes early next Congress, but realize the President would veto
these bills. They will look to alter
the parts they find most objectionable. A primary change that Republican
leaders are seeking is to redefine the full-time work week from the law’s 30
hours per week to 40 hours per week. While the House passed
similar legislation during the current Congress, the Senate declined to follow
suit, but that could potentially change in the new Congress.

What This Means for Small Business:

Obamacare requires that certain businesses
provide insurance for all “full-time” employees, so the definition of full-time
is key to the burden the law places on businesses. Beginning in 2015, companies
with 100 or more full-time employees must provide health care coverage or pay
fines, while that requirement will apply to companies with at least 50
full-time workers starting in 2016. While many small businesses have fewer than
50 full-time employees, crossing that threshold could impose significant costs
on companies.

Additional Reading:

The Wall Street Journal
reports on the impact of small business.

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