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New law about full-time employees could be around the corner

full-time-employment-health-law-frese-hansen.JPGFor quite some time now, the definition of a full-time worker, in the eyes of the federal government, has been someone who works at least 30 hours in a work week. The importance of this threshold is that it sets the bar for employers who are required to provide health benefits, such as access to insurance, if their employees are considered full-time.

But this rule could change if Congress passes new requirements that would change the definition of a full-time employee by raising the threshold from 30 hours to 40 hours a week. The measure has already cleared the House and is set to be reviewed by the Senate at any time.

There are a lot of people who oppose raising the threshold for hours worked in a work week because it encourages employers, who may not want to provide health benefits under the current health law, to cut employee hours to push them below this threshold. Some have argued though that this is already happening with current laws in states across the nation, including here in Florida.

As you can see, the measure does have some hurdles to jump though. Not only does it have to pass the Senate but it has also received a warning from the Obama administration that it will be vetoed because it lacks necessary evidence to show a need for an adjustment.

Whether you're an employee or an employer here in Florida, you'll probably be watching the news a lot more in the weeks and months to come. A change to the current health law will require employers to stay in compliance or risk litigation down the road while employees will want to make sure that they are up-to-date on their rights. At this time, it's difficult to tell if the measure will pass or what impact it could have on the entire nation down the road.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "House Votes to Change Health Law's Definition of Full-Time Worker," Siobhan Hughes, Jan. 8, 2015

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