The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) is encouraged by passage of the Save American Workers Act of 2013 (H.R. 2575) out of the Ways and Means Committee today. This is an important first step in changing the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) definition of full-time employees from 30 hours of service to a definition more in-line with employment practices.
“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 nearly seven decades, they want to be able to continue to offer this coverage to their employees and their families,” said Christine Pollack, vice president of government affairs at RILA.
“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,” RILA states in a letter submitted ahead of the mark-up.
RILA’s Employers for Flexibility in Health Care (E-Flex) Coalition also sent a letter to the Committee. The Coalition represents employers with workforces of a variable nature, not traditional 9-5 schedule workforces. In the letter, the Coalition stresses the importance of maintaining the ability to offer affordable coverage options to its unique workforces under the new requirements of the health care law.
RILA and members of the E-FLEX Coalition have taken a holistic view of the ACA, having recognized the employer requirements under the law are inextricably linked. Both believe Congress must recognize the impacts the health care law is having on business practices and the American workforce and come together for bipartisan action.
For further information read RILA’s recent blog entry: “It’s a Jobs Discussion, Not a Political Discussion.”
The Employers for Flexibility in Health Care (E-Flex) is a coalition of leading trade associations and businesses in the retail, restaurant, supermarket, hospitality, construction, temporary staffing, and other service-related industries, as well as employer-sponsored plans insuring millions of American workers.
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.