WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., on Friday introduced a bill that would define full-time workers for the purposes of the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act as those working 40 hours per week, rather than 30 hours.

H.R. 2988, the “Forty Hours Is Full Time Act of 2013,” mirrors a bill introduced in the Senate — S. 1188 — in June by Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.


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“Even with the Administration’s recent decision to delay the Obamacare employer mandate for one year, we already know some employers are preparing to meet the law’s guidelines by slashing workers’ hours and forcing them to work 29 hours a week or less,” Lipinksi said in a statement. “This is reducing the take-home pay for millions of Americans at a time when they can least afford it. The Forty Hours Is Full Time Act keeps the usual 40 hour full-time work week in place without sacrificing the goal of providing affordable, quality healthcare to Americans.”

Read more: Retailers Applaud ACA Delay

Food Marketing Institute, Arlington, Va., is among the employer groups that said they support the bill.

“Rep. Lipinski’s shared legislation, along with S. 1188 and H.R. 2575 [the Save American Workers Act of 2013, also introduced in June], demonstrates the growing bicameral and bipartisan consensus that the ACA’s 30-hours-per-week definition for full-time employees needs to be addressed in order for the law to be effective and to minimize the disruption to the American workforce,” said Jennifer Hatcher, FMI senior vice president of government and public affairs.

“While the Administration has taken steps to provide some flexibility within the scope of the health coverage law, the ACA’s 30-hour-per-week definition for full-time employees is an impediment to how food retailers manage their workforces, adjust work schedules and offer employee benefits well beyond health care.”

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