Walorski, Kelly propose update to Obamacare’s full-time employee definition

U.S. Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) and Mike Kelly (R-PA) on May 16 introduced a bipartisan, bicameral bill to update the definition of full-time employee under an employer mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.

“The redefinition of full-time employment under Obamacare is hurting workers who want to earn more money by picking up extra hours or trading shifts and it’s placing unnecessary burdens on our Main Street job creators,” Rep. Walorski said.

The congresswoman sponsored the Employee Flexibility Act of 2019, H.R. 2782, with cosponsors Reps. Kelly and Dan Lipinski (D-IL) to change the definition of a full-time employee under the ACA from someone who works an average of 30 hours per week to the traditional 40 hours per week.

“The Employee Flexibility Act will bring relief to hardworking Hoosiers by ensuring they have flexibility in the hours they work each week,” said Rep. Walorski. “This bipartisan, commonsense bill will also give businesses the certainty they need to expand, invest in our communities, and create more jobs.”

Companion legislation, the same-named S. 1510, also was introduced on May 16 by U.S. Sens. Todd Young (R-IN) and Joe Manchin (D-WV).

Rep. Kelly, who co-authored the bill, pointed out that the definition of full-time employment under Obamacare has created a lot of problems for American workers.

“Employers are required to provide health insurance to employees who qualify as full time, so many workers employed by small businesses are having trouble picking up extra hours to make ends meet,” said Rep. Kelly. “The Employee Flexibility Act … would restore the 40-hour work week to help workers and ease the burden on businesses.”

H.R. 2782 has been referred for consideration to the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee while S. 1520 is being reviewed by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

According to Rep. Walorski’s office, supporters of the measure include LaSalle Hospitality Group and Ben’s Soft Pretzels.