The loss in hours for folks who previously worked 35-39 hours per week has proven substantial as employees — many of whom work in service industries such as restaurants and retail shops — have suffered as their hours have been slashed to below 30. Many workers have since had to cobble together two or three part-time jobs to maintain their prior levels of income.
An estimated 2.6 million workers with annual incomes of less than $30,000 have been affected by the 30-hour rule.
The hours rule was part of the Affordable Care Act, which would levy a fine against employers who don’t offer health benefits to workers who work at least 30 hours per week.
Congressmen and women — some, at least — have recognized that this provision of Obamacare needs to be thrown out the window.
Legislation initially introduced last June has made its way through the U.S. House of Representatives and now rests with the U.S. Senate. HR 2575 is dubbed the Save American Workers Act of 2014. It would amend the Internal Revenue Code, as amended by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, to redefine “full-time employee” as being an employee who works at least 40 hours per week.
Our U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, rightly supported the measure, saying that the “poorly designed rule is responsible for slashing take-home pay of those who can least afford it by forcing employers to cut jobs and hours or risk triggering the law’s 30-hour penalty.”
His was one of 248 votes cast for the legislation. Another 179 votes were cast against it.
Contact Michigan’s U.S. senators, Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, and let them know how this provision of Obamacare has affected our economy and our livelihoods. Stabenow may be reached by phone at 202-224-4822; and by mail at 133 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, DC 20510. Levin may be reached by phone at 202-224-6221; and by mail at 269 Russell Senate Office Bldg., Washington, DC 20510.
Help stop the bleeding of American workers and support this legislation.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.