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National Restaurant Association - New 40-hour bill introduced in House

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New 40-hour bill introduced in House

New legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives that could change the 2010 health care law’s definition of a full-time work week to 40 hours, addressing one of restaurateurs’ most pressing concerns about the law.

The legislation, called the “Forty Hours is Full-time Act,” was introduced Aug. 2 by Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), and mirrors the bipartisan legislation of the same name introduced in the Senate by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.). It also would accomplish the same goal as another House bill introduced by Reps. Todd Young (R-Ind.), Pete Olson (R-Texas), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) and Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.). The National Restaurant Association supported all of these efforts to change the health care law’s current definition of a full-time work week from 30 hours to one more in line with current labor practices.

 Both the NRA and Illinois Restaurant Association met with Lipinski last April during the NRA’s Public Affairs Conference and asked for his support in addressing the law’s definition of full-time.

“The National Restaurant Association and our members appreciate Congressman Lipinski’s introduction of the Forty Hours is Full-time Act in the House, signaling bipartisan and bicameral support for addressing the definition of full-time employee in the health care law,” said Scott DeFife, NRA executive vice president, policy and government affairs. “The current definition at 30 hours is not aligned with current workforce practices and does not reflect the desire of restaurant and foodservice employees for flexible work schedules. Only Congress can address this challenge in implementing the law.”

The law’s 30-hour definition of full-time has been of particular concern to the restaurant industry, given the high number of part-time and seasonal workers it employs, as well as scheduling that is often less predictable than in other industries.

Changing the health care law's definition of the full-time work week has been a focus of the NRA’s advocacy efforts. The Association recently launched a grassroots advocacy push to urge Congress to make reasonable changes to the health care law. Visit www.AmericaWorksHere.org/healthcare for more information.

For information about the law and to download the NRA’s Health Care Law Primer, visit the NRA’s Health Care Knowledge Center.

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