NRF urges Congress to pass legislation that would change Affordable Care Act's definition of full-time employment for benefit eligibility to 40 hours/week from 30 hours/week

WASHINGTON , April 4, 2014 (press release) – The National Retail Federation today urged Congress to pass the bipartisan Save American Workers Act, which would change the Affordable Care Act’s definition of full-time employment from 30 hours per week to 40 hours. NRF sent a letter to the House saying all votes related to the bill, H.R. 2575, would be considered key votes for the association’s annual scorecard.

“NRF greatly appreciates the bipartisan support for changes to the Affordable Care Act’s definition of full-time work for benefit eligibility,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French wrote. “It is, after all, a common sense approach.”

The key vote letter follows testimony from NRF Vice President and Employee Benefits Policy Counsel Neil Trautwein before the House Ways and Means Committee in January, when he said the 30-hour definition is difficult for retailers because of the large number of employees who work variable hours.

NRF has led the retail industry’s efforts to make the health care reform law work for employers and employees alike and has collaborated with both the Obama administration and Congress to advance common sense changes to reflect the practical concerns of employers. In addition to seeking a 40-hour definition for full-time workers, NRF has supported legislation that would limit the law to companies with 100 or more full-time workers rather than 50.

“The 40-hour full-time definition proposed in H.R. 2575 will return flexibility to employers,” French wrote. “We hope to continue to work to help mitigate the negative effects [the Affordable Care Act has] on the retail industry and retail employees.”

The Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate is set to go into effect in 2015 for employers with 100 or more full-time workers and 2016 for employers with 50 or more.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. www.nrf.com.

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