Congressman Charlie Dent (PA-15) supported H.R. 2575, the Save American Workers Act today. The bill passed the House in a bipartisan manner – 248 to 179.
The President’s health care law defines a full-time worker as someone who works 30 hours a week. For 40 years, employees who worked 40 hours per week had been considered “full-time.” This change is important. The health care law requires companies with more than fifty employees provide insurance coverage to their “full-time” workers.
The Save American Workers Act repeals the 30-hour definition of “full-time employment” in the President’s health care law. It restores the traditional 40-hour definition for the purposes of the employer mandate.
“Lowering the definition of full-time employment to 30 hours puts millions of workers at risk of losing work hours or seeing their jobs eliminated,” said Congressman Dent. “This is especially true for young workers, women and those without college degrees. Employers already have, and will continue to, reduce hours of employees to avoid the employer mandate.”
Dent noted that the East Penn and Southern Lehigh school districts in the Lehigh Valley cut hours for cafeteria workers to just under 30 hours to avoid the requirement. “Unfortunately, the negative impacts of this law are already being felt by workers in both the private and public sectors in the 15th Congressional district.”
Dent maintains that the 40 hour full-time work week is critically important to the national economy. He included the text of the Save American Workers Act in his GROWTH Act. The GROWTH Act would help unemployed workers while kick-starting economic growth through several jobs-creating measures.
“Imagine that you finally get a job offer after many months of being unemployed. Now, imagine your prospective employer tells you the job will be part time, 29 hours a week. Workers and their families will still face real economic hardships,” Dent said.
For those who think lowering the definition of full-time work by law is a good thing, Dent offers a counter-argument. “France has a legally mandated 35-hour work week. They’re growing their economy at less than 1%. Is that what we’re hoping to accomplish?”
Contact: Shawn Millan