Retail Groups Push for New Definition of Full-Time Employee

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Retail organizations reached out to the House of Representatives in advance of today's House Ways & Means Committee hearing on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's (ACA) definition of a full-time employee. Currently, the ACA considers an employee who works 30 hours or more each week to be full-time, but several groups are pushing to change the definition to one more in line with common employment practices.

The Employers for Flexibility in Health Care (E-FLEX) Coalition, which is made up of numerous leading trade organizations and businesses in the retail, restaurant and other service-related industries, submitted a letter for the record of the hearing.

"It is critically important to the workforce the E-FLEX Coalition represents to change the law's definition of full-time as 30 hours of service to a definition more in line with employment practices," the letter reads.

The E-FLEX letter continues to state that "the common thread among coalition members is that our workforces are of a variable nature, and not traditional 9-to-5 schedule workforces. Maintaining the ability to offer affordable coverage options to our unique workforces under the new requirements of the law is of special concern to us."

Increasing the amount of hours required to be classified as a full-time employee would make it easier for employers to provide more hours to all employees and help ensure that lower-income employees have access to more affordable coverage options, according to the coalition. The letter concludes by urging Congress to "take bipartisan action to preserve jobs and help keep employer coverage."

Executive members of E-FLEX include the National Restaurant Association and Retail Industry Leaders Association. Members of the steering committee include NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, 7-Eleven Inc. and the National Retail Federation.

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