House Passes the “Save American Workers” Act, but Senate Approval Unclear and Veto Promised

houseLogoPrintLast week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Save American Workers Act (H.R. 2575), a bill that would change the definition of “full-time” work under the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate from 30 to 40 hours per week.  However, it remains to be seen whether the Senate will approve the measure (many commentators are saying it won’t) and the White House has promised to veto it.

Currently, covered businesses must provide health insurance for their full-time employees, with the ACA defining “full-time” as thirty hours or more a week.  The Save American Workers Act would raise the threshold for full-time status to 40 hours per week, thus decreasing the number of employees to whom employers are required to provide insurance.

The bill, which had the support of some Congressional Democrats, has the support of many business groups, including the National Retail Federation, National Restaurant Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who said the ACA’s full-time work definition goes against longstanding practices and would cause harm to both employers and employees if allowed to stand.