The U.S. House of Representatives voted 252-172 on Jan 8 in favor of legislation that would redefine the definition of full-time to 40 hours per week under the Affordable Care Act as well as waive fees on businesses that do not offer health insurance to employees working fewer than 40 hours.
Twelve Democrats voted with 240 Republicans for the measure, which is supported by NATSO.
The bill now goes to the Republican-held Senate. However, President Obama has threatened to veto the legislation.
As currently written, the Affordable Care Act requires employers with more than 50 employees to provide health care coverage for workers who put in at least 30 hours a week. The current statute imposes fees on businesses that do not provide health insurance to employees who work 30 hours per week.
NATSO joined a broad group of industry associations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the International Franchise Association, National Council of Chain Restaurants, National Grocers Association, National Restaurant Association, and the National Association of Convenience Stores, among others, in urging Congress to act quickly to raise the threshold.
Republicans argue that the current law has hurt workers by causing employers to reduce hours and wages.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Jan. 22 on the issue.
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