The Affordable Care Act currently sets the definition of full-time employees, who under the act require the employer to provide insurance, at those working 30 hours a week. The Employee Flexibility Act would change that standard to 40 hours a week.

PROPOSED LEGISLATION WOULD change the definition of full-time work under the Affordable Care Act from 30 to 40 hours. Some in the hospitality industry say the Employee Flexibility Act will provide more work opportunity by freeing employers from having to provide medical insurance for those looking to earn more money by adding or trading shifts.

U.S. Representatives Jackie Walorski (R-Indiana), Dan Lipinski (D-Illinois), Mike Kelly (R-Pennsylvania), and Collin Peterson (D-Minnesota) are sponsoring the act. A companion bill also has been introduced in the Senate.

“The redefinition of full-time employment under Obamacare is hurting workers who want to earn more money by picking up extra hours or trading shifts, and it’s placing unnecessary burdens on our Main Street job creators,” Walorski said. “The Employee Flexibility Act will bring relief to hardworking Hoosiers by ensuring they have flexibility in the hours they work each week. This bipartisan, commonsense bill will also give businesses the certainty they need to expand, invest in our communities, and create more jobs.”

The American Hotel & Lodging Association supports the act.

“A 40 hour-work week is a crucial adjustment providing a more workable solution for both hoteliers and our associates,” AHLA President and CEO Chip Rogers said. “The ACA’s arbitrary 30-hour definition severely restricts the scheduling flexibility so valuable to our industry’s workforce, while also impacting the ability of hotels to serve their guests. The Employee Flexibility Act would change the definition of full-time to 40 hours, more accurately reflecting current employment practices and allowing the hotel industry to continue as a driver of economic growth.”

Lipinski said the proposed bill would put the ACA in closer alignment with the most common concept of full-time hours.

In April, AAHOA Interim President and CEO Rachel Humphrey spoke out in support of another labor related issue, the ongoing controversy over defining joint employer status.