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Thursday, January 8, 2015

House Passes Bipartisan Save American Workers Act

House Passes Bipartisan Save American Workers Act
Skills of Central PA Discusses Challenges Posed to Workers and Employers by the Affordable Care Act’s Thirty Hour Work Week Requirement
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-5) today voted to support H.R. 30, the Save American Workers Act.  The legislation, which would repeal the thirty hour work week requirement under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 252-172.

Working families in my district and across the country are seeing wages reduced and being forced into part-time employment as a result of the Affordable Care Act’s thirty hour work week requirement,” stated Thompson.Today the House acted to repeal this flawed policy by passing the Save American Workers Act. Small businesses and non-profit organizations should not be placed in a position where they cannot grow and cannot continue providing good paying jobs for members of our community.”

The ACA requires employers with more than 50 full-time employees to provide employee health insurance. Because the law defines "full time" as thirty hours or more, many companies and organizations have found the mandate unworkable and unaffordable, opting for fewer employee hours in order to keep operations running.

"Like many other organizations, we agree that the thirty hour per week definition of full time employment has hampered our organization.  In our industry it is very common to have a complement of both full time and part time staff.  Roughly 30% of our staffing is comprised of part-time employees.  Earlier this year we determined that all employees must either work 25 hours or less, or be full time at 40 hours per week," stated Wendy Pardee, Ph.D., President and CEO of Skills of Central PA. 

H.R. 30 modifies the definition of who is a “full time” employee for purposes of the ACA, repealing the thirty hour a week threshold and replacing it with forty hours per week.

"I know that many industries have cut their employees’ hours to remain under the 30 hour threshold,” Pardee added.  “I want to be very clear that we need every employee we have and in general allowed employees to determine whether they would remain part time at under 25 hours or change to full time with the 40 hour per week requirement. Redefining full time status for the Affordable Care Act as 40 hours would give us back flexibility."

Skills of Central PA is a private, nonprofit organization located in State College, PA, that provides individuals with disabilities in 16 Pennsylvania counties with a full array of services, including employment support.   

Reducing regulatory burdens that are creating job losses and wage cuts is definitely an area where Republicans and Democrats should be able to come together and do what is right for the American people,”  Thompson added.

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