The Automotive Service Association (ASA), Auto Care Association, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), and WMDA Service Station and Automotive Repair Association joined with other small business groups to support the Save American Workers Act of 2015, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month.
The bill would repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) 30-hour workweek definition for full-time employment, and replace it with a 40-hour workweek definition.
The companion bill is up for consideration in the Senate, and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) held its first hearing on the matter on Jan. 22. President Obama has promised to veto the bill if it passes.
Beginning in 2015, the ACA requires companies with 100 or more full-time equivalent (FTE) employees to offer affordable insurance to full-time employees, or face financial penalties. That expands to cover businesses with 50 or more FTEs in 2016. However, the ACA currently defines a full-time employee as one with an average of 30 hours of service per week.
According to a letter in support of the House bill (H.R. 30) issued by the Small Business Coalition for Affordable Healthcare, "Without H.R. 30, employers will face higher employer mandate penalty taxes, and employees will continue to see reduced hours and take home pay."
The House bill was introduced on Jan. 6 with 145 co-sponsors from both parties. "When the employer mandate became effective on January 1, up to 2.6 million Americans were at-risk for seeing lost hours and wages at work," said Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.), who co-sponsored the bill. "Ironically, this unintended consequence hurts most those Obamacare was claimed to help: low- and middle-income Americans working hourly jobs. Repealing this provision and restoring the traditional understanding of a forty-hour work is necessary to protect their paychecks."