40-hour work week measure passes U.S. House

Adam Kinzinger
Adam Kinzinger

Online Staff Report

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., voted April 3 in support of legislation to increase the hours needed to qualify as a “full-time” employee under the Affordable Care Act from 30 to 40, eliminating the incentive for employers to cut hours to avoid penalties under the law.

According to studies and testimonies from around the country, employees have seen their hours and wages cut as a result of the 30-hour work week rule that defines working “full-time” as 30 hours a week.

When you have a law that makes it harder to give workers more hours, and punishes employers for doing so, it’s no wonder so many Americans are still suffering in this economy,” Kinzinger said. “The fact is Obamacare’s unintended consequences are hurting Illinoisans who can least afford it. It’s disproportionately hurting women, students and the poor, which is why I’m glad to support this legislation, and will continue working with my colleagues to implement health care reform that works for Americans.”

Under the new health care law, employers with 50 or more employees are required to provide insurance to any employee working “full-time,” which the law defines as 30 hours or more a week. As a result, studies by the University of California, Berkley and the Hoover Institute show at least 2.3 million workers are at risk of seeing their hours and take-home pay cut as employers reduce hours to get below the 30-hour threshold. Women, young people, and lower-income Americans are disproportionately affected by the rule’s negative consequences, the studies show.

The House-passed legislation, the Save American Workers Act (H.R. 2575) restores the definition of “full-time” to working 40 hours a week, eliminating the incentive for employers to cut hours below 30 hours a week. H.R. 2575, of which Kinzinger is an original co-sponsor, passed the House 248-179 April 3. The bill now awaits action in the Senate.

Posted April 3, 2014

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