In letters sent to Congress today, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) expressed the industry's support for the bi-partisan Save American Workers Act and the Forty Hours Is Full Time Act. Both the House bill, introduced by Representatives Todd Young (R-IN) and -Dan Lipinski (D-IL), and the Senate bill, introduced by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN), raise the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) full-time definition from 30 hours of service per week to 40 hours of service per week.
"This is a jobs issue, not a political issue," said Christine Pollack, vice president of government affairs at RILA. "Restoring the 40-hour work week is an important step toward protecting American jobs."
Most retailers traditionally used an hourly or salaried workforce designation, not full-time or part-time, which reflected an employees' desire for flexible hours and a manager's need to staff up a store during busy times. The ACA's definition of full-time as 30 hours of service per week fundamentally limits the flexibility of staffing from both the employee and store manager standpoint.
"Raising the threshold of full-time under the ACA means that retailers will have the flexibility to continue to offer coverage at the traditional level, whether, for example, the level is 32, 35 or 37 hours. Retailers have voluntarily offered coverage for decades and they want to be able to continue to offer this coverage to their employees and their families," Pollack continued.
Raising the full-time definition in the ACA back to the common standard among the business community will make it easier for businesses to provide more hours to all employees; thereby increasing employees' take home pay. This change will also provide retailers the opportunity to offer more generous health coverage to full-time employees without making premiums prohibitive and help ensure other employees still have access to affordable coverage options.
RILA letter in support of the Save American Workers Act
RILA letter in support of the Forty Hours Is Full Time Act
RILA, the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, promotes consumer choice and economic freedom through public policy and industry operational excellence. Our members provide millions of jobs and operate more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad. RILA members offer quality and affordable health care to their employees and dependents, and are leaders in benefits design by customizing plans to meet their workforces' specific needs.