The U.S. House of Representatives Jan. 8 voted 252-172 to pass the ABC-supported Save American Workers Act (H.R. 30), which would replace the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) definition of “full time” as 30 hours or more per week with the traditional definition of 40 hours. Before the vote, ABC sent a letter urging Congress to support the bill and markedit as “Key Vote” for their 114th Congressional Scorecard because under the ACA’s current 30-hour rule, many employers will be forced to reduce employee work hours and wages.  

Generally, under the employer mandate provisions of the ACA, employers with 50 or more full-time employees and full-time equivalent employees must offer full-time employees a certain level of coverage or be subject to a penalty. Instead of using the traditional definition of 40 hours per week for full-time employment (as defined in employment statutes and regulations), the Obama administration decided to change the definition used in the ACA to a rigid 30 hours per week  (or 130 service hours monthly). 

H.R. 30 would increase the threshold to 40 hours per week in order to avert market disruptions and restore flexibility to employers and workers alike. 

In the letter to Congress, ABC argues that the ACA’s 30-hour per week definition creates uncertainty and confusion for employers and that H.R. 30 will protect existing jobs and retain security among employers.