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National Restaurant Association - Fighting for critical health care changes

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Fighting for critical health care changes

Senators on both sides of the aisle are looking to bring the health care law’s definition of “full time” — currently set at 30 hours a week — in line with accepted business practices.

The bipartisan Forty Hours is Full Time Act, introduced by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), has attracted 40 cosponsors in the Senate. The House passed its own bill to change the ACA’s full-time definition in January.

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National Restaurant Association Chairman Jack Crawford recently met with Collins, Senate leadership staff, and other key Senate offices from both parties in an effort to garner additional support for changing the ACA’s definition of full time to a length that reflects workplace realities. The NRA is advocating for the change both on its own and with partners from the More Time for Full Time coalition. Other members of the coalition include the International Franchise Association, National Retail Federation, American Hotel and Lodging Association, American Rental Association, National Grocers Association, National Association of Theater Owners, Asian American Hotel Owners Association, and the Society for Human Resource Management.

Why it matters:  The ACA uses the 30-hour definition to determine which employees are considered full time and which employers must offer health insurance to their full-time employees. The ACA requires large employers—those with 50 or more full-time-equivalent employees—to offer health insurance to their full-time employees or face possible penalties. A 30-hour definition of full-time could lead to many restaurant operators adopting more rigid scheduling policies and threaten the flexibility that leads millions to seek jobs in the industry. It also may slow restaurant growth, as small businesses on the cusp of the 50-employee threshold may be reluctant to hire more full-time employees.

What restaurateurs can do to help:  Send a letter to your senators and ask them to support workplace flexibility by voting for S. 30, the Forty Hours is Full Time Act. Write to your senator today.

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