Small Business Urges House to Repeal 30-Hour Work Week Mandate

Date: January 07, 2015

Small Business Urges House to Repeal 30-Hour Work Week Mandate

Washington,
DC (January 7, 2015) –
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) today urged
members of both parties in the House to support a measure that would repeal a
provision of the Affordable Care Act that creates a strong  incentive
for employers to avoid creating full-time jobs.

“One of the more easily foreseeable consequences of the Affordable Care Act is
the pressure it imposes on small firms to reduce or avoid adding full-time
positions,” said NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner.  “The 30-hour
work week provision creates much of that pressure and repealing it should be an
easy vote for members of both parties who care about jobs and small business.”

Under the
law, full-time work is defined as 30 hours per week instead of the traditional
40 hours per week.  The Obama administration pushed for the provision as a
way to force private sector employers to offer more workers health insurance
coverage.  What they didn’t expect is that some firms would respond by
converting full-time workers to part-time status and avoid hiring altogether
new workers over 30 hours. 

According to
the government’s own data, the 30-hour work week provision may indeed be
killing full-time jobs.  The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) finds that there are nearly 7
million Americans working part-time who would rather have a full-time
job.  That’s a historic high.  According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the ratio of part-time workers who
would rather have a full-time job to the population remains elevated,
suggesting the rise of a part-time workforce.  In November, according to BLS, the number of full-time workers dropped by 150,000
while the number of part-time jobs increased by 77,000.

According to
Danner, the law gives some business no choice except to find ways around
hiring or keeping full-time workers.

“Health
insurance coverage is a very big expense for small companies and if they don’t
have the sales to cover the cost then they’ve got to make other adjustments,”
he said.   “By defining down the definition of full-time work, the law
creates a terrible dilemma for small businesses.  Repealing it should be
an immediate priority.”

The House of
Representatives is scheduled to vote on the bill, H.R. 30, tomorrow.  It’s
expected to pass with bipartisan support.  The Senate will likely take up
the version introduced today by senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe
Donnelly (D-Indiana).
  That there appears to be broad support in both
chambers is a cause for optimism, according to Danner.

“It will
almost certainly pass the House and from there it will go to the Senate where
it will most likely receive bipartisan support as well,” he said.  “There
are two big questions remaining:  will it pass with enough support in the
Senate to make it to the President’s desk, and will he veto a bill that has
broad support on both sides of the aisle?

“It will be
a test of whether he’s serious when he says that he’s willing to consider ways
to improve the
law.”

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