Retailers Urge House to Pass Bill Restoring 40-HR Work Week

In a letter sent to Congress today, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) called on the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the bi-partisan Save American Workers Act. The legislation, H.R. 2575, introduced by Representative Todd Young (R-IN) and cosponsored by Representative Dan Lipinski (D-IL), raises the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) full-time definition from 30 hours of service per week to 40 hours of service per week.

“Passing the Save American Workers Act is a meaningful step toward restoring the historic 40-hour work week threshold.” said Christine Pollack, vice president of government affairs at RILA. “At a time when the government should be working to create more jobs for Americans, the law is doing just the opposite in shortening the full-time work week from the commonly accepted standard of a 40-hour work week to a 30-hour week.”

Most retailers currently use an hourly or salaried workforce designation, not full-time or part-time, which reflects 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.

“This is a jobs issue, not a political issue. Restoring the 40-hour work week protects American jobs,” Pollack said.

Pollack further noted “Raising the threshold of full-time under the ACA means that retailers will have the flexibility to continue to offer coverage at the current 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.”

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.

A copy of the RILA letter can be found here.


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.


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