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House votes to change full-time definition to 40-hour week

The House of Representatives today passed a bill to change the definition of a full-time employee under the Affordable Care Act to one who works 40 hours per week, rather than 30 hours per week.

The bill passed by a vote of 252-172.

Industry groups voiced support for the bill’s passage.

“Independent supermarkets are proud to be employers of choice in hundreds of communities across the country; however provisions such as the ACA's current full-time definition has placed unnecessary burdens on both employers and their dedicated part-time employees. We are grateful for Congressman Young and Lipinski for their leadership on this important issue,” NGA president and CEO Peter Larkin said in a statement.

“The food retail industry is known to be a labor-intensive enterprise that offers employment opportunities for workers spanning a range of ages, educational levels and skill sets. We strongly support efforts in Congress to restore the definition of a full-time grocery employee to one whose workweek is comprised of a level of hours significantly above 30 hours per week in order to offer employers and their associates the flexibility needed to meet their mutual goals,” FMI president and CEO Leslie Sarasin said in a statement earlier this week.

“The restaurant industry is attractive for millions of Americans looking for flexibility and a career to suit personal needs. A definition of a full-time employee under the law that helps maintain this flexibility is vital as our industry relies on large numbers of part-time and seasonal workers with unpredictable hours and lengths of service. Setting the definition of full-time status at the traditional 40-hours per week increases worker earnings and helps alleviate the administrative burden placed on the employer community,” National Restaurant Association president and CEO Dawn Sweeney said in a statement.

A similar bill was introduced in the Senate earlier this week. However, President Obama has said he will veto the House version of the bill.

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