Why the Legal Standard of Full-Time Employment Should Remain at 30 Hours

Congress should not change the legal standard of full-time employment from 30 hours to 40 hours. Ben Casselman explains in his article for FiveThirtyEight titled “Yes, Some Companies Are Cutting Hours In Response To ‘Obamacare’” that a survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics demonstrates that “the share of part-timers working just below 30 hours a week has been rising for roughly the past two years, while the share working just over 30 hours has been falling.” (http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/yes-some-companies-are-cutting-hours-in-response-to-obamacare/). However, this section of employees who work between 25 and 35 hours per week is in the minority as 80% of people report their work hours as at least 35. This means that this provision of Obamacare has no impact on 80% of employees in the United States workforce. Casselman’s conclusion is that “the health law has likely led a few hundred thousand workers to see their hours cut or capped. That’s small in the context of an economy with 150 million workers” (http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/yes-some-companies-are-cutting-hours-in-response-to-obamacare/).

While this is still something that majorly impacts this small percentage of the population, it is not worth changing the definition of full-time employment to 40 hours and impacting far more Americans whose work hours are slightly above or below 40. Casselman concludes that this provision to the healthcare law does not deem it a good policy or a bad policy, simply one aspect of the policy, an opinion with which I agree.

In his article titled “Obamacare and the GOP’s Full-Time ‘Fix’” for The INDsider, author Patrick Flanagan quotes Steve Spires, a health care policy analyst for a nonprofit called the Louisiana Budget Project, that changing the definition of full-time to 40 hours “could have a damaging effect on the middle class and lead to lower wages” (http://theind.com/article-19974-Obamacare-and-the-GOP%E2%80%99s-Full-Time-%E2%80%98Fix%E2%80%99.html)

Personally, I think executives and business leaders should be focusing on the success of their organizations, not cutting valued employees’ hours to avoid being required to provide them with health insurance. When it comes down to it, this should really not be such a polarizing issue. I believe that now, even with a GOP-controlled congress, Obama would use his veto power to strike down this legislation, should the House of Representatives approve it. This is the type of bipartisan nonsense the bureaucrats of our country use to divide constituents down party lines. Our legislators must look at the facts and band together to legislate with a goal of economic recovery, not with a goal of re-election. Wasting time debating unhelpful policy is not what is best for our country.

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