Is The 29 Hour Work Week Coming As Employers Seek To Escape The Obamacare Mandate?

November 12, 2012 - 2:16 PM

Businesses with 50 or more employees who average at least 30 hours of work a week will be subject to the Obamacare insurance coverage mandate.

Companies are reportedly planning large layoffs due to the implementation of Obamacare.

But, companies can potentially avoid being subject to Obamacare's insurance requirements by limiting employees’ weekly hours to less than the 30 hour level defined by Obamacare as “full-time.”

A little-known section in the ObamaCare health reform law defines “full-time” work as averaging only 30 hours per week, a definition that will affect some employers who utilize part-time workers to trim the cost of complying with the ObamaCare rule that says businesses with 50 or more full-time workers must provide health insurance or pay a fine.

“The term ‘full-time employee’ means, with respect to any month, an employee who is employed on average at least 30 hours of service per week,” section 1513 of the law reads.  (Scroll down to section 4, paragraph A.)

That section, known as the employer mandate, requires any business with 50 or more full-time employees to provide at least the minimum level of government-defined health coverage to those employees. In other words, a business must provide insurance if it has 50 or more employees working an average of just 30 hours per week, which is 10 hours per week fewer than the traditional 40-hour work week.

Thus, by cutting employees’ hours to ensure they average less than the 30 per week, employers could potentially avoid the cost of providing the minimum insurance levels mandated by Obamacare.

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