Portman sponsors bill to keep full-time work at 40 hours
By Frank Lewis
April 07, 2014
Now, in addition to being concerned about how to handle health care coverage issues, small businesses are also being told 30 hours is now full time. U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) has sponsored legislation he says would bring full time status back to 40 hours.
Portman said, as the economy struggles to create jobs, business owners and employees must confront the reality of President Barack Obama’s health care law: more regulations and policies that are increasing costs and forcing businesses to either lay off workers or not hire new workers. He said small businesses in particular must bear the brunt of some of the law’s worst policies.
Late last week Portman joined with Senators Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and John Thune (R-S.D.) to introduce legislation to provide relief for firms that are at the core of the American economy from what they describe as onerous federal overreaches in the health care law. The Small Business Fairness in Health Care Act, S.2205, would restore the definition of “full-time” work under the health care law to 40 hours a week and exempt more small businesses from the employer mandate.
“President Obama chose to delay the employer mandate of the health care law because it will be a burden on businesses and job creators. Rather than delaying its implementation for businesses, this law should be repealed for everyone,” Portman said. “Until then, I will fight to make sure that this onerous and complex law harms as few Ohioans as possible. Our legislation today would ensure that more small businesses across Ohio are exempted from entering the costly health care exchanges that will stand in the way of them expanding and hiring more workers. In addition, the bill would restore the traditional definition of full time work to 40 hours. When Obamacare redefined full time work as 30 hours per week, many small businesses reduced their employees’ hours and pay in an attempt to skirt the health care law’s onerous regulations. The last thing we want to do during an already weak economy is provide an incentive for employers to cut back on work.”
The senators said the health care law is full of bad policies that are leading to countless unintended consequences, including fewer hours for employees and employers not hiring. These one-size-fits-all regulations are hitting workers in their pocketbooks and undercutting the country’s economic recovery, according to the senators.
Scott Schmidt, whose company owns multiple restaurants in the Tri-State area, says it does have an affect on hiring and scheduling in the service industry.
“It affects not only ours but everyone else’s from the standpoint that you don’t want to pay overtime,” Schmidt said. “Overtime is the biggest issue. The other issue is that we have been looking at that anyway with Obamacare as far as what was considered what was full and part time with them. I saw that coming and everyone else saw that coming down the road as far as it was going to happen.”
Schmidt said it’s really about the bottom line.
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