Todd Young of Indiana discusses the Save American Workers Act.
NFIB caught up with Todd Young, who represents the 9th District of Indiana and serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means. Last year, Young introduced the Save American Workers Act to protect working poor and middle-class employees.
Q: Tell us about the Save American Workers Act.
Under the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate provisions, businesses that employ 50 or more full-time employees (or full-time equivalents) are required to offer health insurance to those employees. Contrary to popular understanding and historical precedent, the Affordable Care Act defines full-time employment as a 30-hour workweek rather than the traditional 40 hours. In order to stay under this arbitrary threshold, many employers have begun limiting the hours of some part-time employees to 29 hours or less each week.
For an hourly employee previously working 35 hours, the unintended consequence is a 17 percent pay cut. Someone who used to work 39 hours a week could lose an entire week’s paycheck over the course of a month.
The Save American Workers Act (H.R. 2575) would help protect the hours and wages of those employees and give flexibility to many small business owners by repealing this new definition of full-time employment and restoring the traditional 40-hour workweek.
Q: Why is this act important to small business owners?
According to an analysis by the Hoover Institute, as many as 2.6 million employees–or 3.1 percent of the United States’ workforce–nationwide may be at risk for reduced hours and wages under this new 30-hour definition. The Save American Workers Act also helps protect employers—particularly those in the retail, restaurant and service industries—from the crushing new costs of compliance with the law. Other federally mandated benefits—such as time-and-a-half pay—kick in at 40 hours. Realigning this law with the historical understanding makes compliance simpler, more predictable and less costly.
Q: What have you done to promote the Save American Workers Act?
In January, the House Committee on Ways and Means held a hearing on the issue of reduced hours and followed that up a week later with a markup of this bill. And in April, the House passed the bill, and it’s now heading to the Senate. We’ve also worked with some senators; Sens. Susan Collins and Joe Donnelly introduced a similar bipartisan measure.