Today, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) held a hearing titled Examining Job-Based Health Insurance and Defining Full-Time Work. Among the witnesses testifying at the hearing was IFA Board Member Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants Holdings, which owns the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurant brands. In his testimony, Puzder explained to the Committee members that the Affordable Care Act’s redefinition of full time employment from the industry standard 40 hours per week to 30 hours was leading to a dramatic reduction in hours and take-home pay for part time workers.
“The logic for businesses is simple,” Puzder testified. “If you have three employees working 40 hours per week they will produce 120 labor hours. Five employees working 24 hours per week also produce 120 labor hours. Employers must offer the three full-time employees health insurance or pay a penalty. They have no obligation to the five part-time employees, making part time employment less costly. I believe this has resulted in employers reducing hundreds of thousands of jobs to under 30 hours a week.”
Bipartisan legislation to correct this negative impact of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate, the Save American Workers Act, cleared the House earlier this year by a vote of 252-172. IFA has made passage of this critical reform one of its priorities for 2015. The More Time for Full Time Initiative, a coalition of leading business groups started by IFA, played an instrumental role in lobbying Congress to support this legislation. Companion legislation, the Forty Hours is Full Time Act has already been introduced in the Senate with bipartisan support. A letter from the More Time for Full Time Initiative encouraging passage of the legislation was introduced into the record during today’s hearing by HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN).
A complete video of the hearing, along with written testimony from the witnesses, can be found here.