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National Restaurant Association - NRA grassroots health care push targets full-time definition

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NRA grassroots health care push targets full-time definition

With bipartisan bills pending in Congress to change the 2010 health care law’s definition of a full-time workweek to 40 hours from the current 30 hours, the National Restaurant Association is urging restaurateurs to contact their members of Congress and ask them to support changing the full-time definition.

Lawmakers are in their home districts until after Labor Day, and the NRA is using the break to try to drive increased support in Congress for legislation to change the law's full-time definition. The "Forty Hours is Full-time Act" was recently introduced in the House by Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) and in the Senate by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.). Legislation to accomplish the same goal was introduced in the House by Reps. Todd Young (R-Ind.), Pete Olson (R-Texas), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) and Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.).

Employers who average 50 or more “full-time-equivalent” employees on business days in 2014 could face penalties if they fail to offer full-time employees and their dependents health insurance coverage in 2015.

Setting the full-time threshold at 30 hours a week will have unintended consequences for both employers and employees, the NRA said. “Scheduling decisions will become less focused on employee and employer needs and more focused on an arbitrary 30-hour threshold,” according to an NRA action alert to members. “This is a bad component of the [health care law] and we need to tell Congress to change the full-time definition.”

The NRA’s Health Care Knowledge Center offers more details on the law’s requirements.

Changing the definition of full-time under the law is one of the NRA’s top health care advocacy priorities. Other top priorities include

  • Simplifying the calculation employers use to determine whether they are a “large employer” under the law.
  • Eliminating the auto-enroll mandate, which requires employers with 200 or more full-time employees to automatically enroll full-time employees in company health plans if employees fail to opt out withi

For more information on the NRA’s grassroots efforts to change the health care law, visit www.AmericaWorksHere.org/healthcare.

Click here to ask Congress to make reasonable changes to the health care law.

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