House Restores 40-Hour Work Week Under Obamacare

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Retailers applauded today's decision by the U.S. House of Representatives to enact H.R. 2575, which returns the definition of a full-time employee to 40 hours per week -- not 30 as currently defined -- under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.

The bill, which the House passed by a 248-179 vote, is also known as the Save American Workers Act. It is intended to allow retailers to have much more flexibility in the hours they can employ workers per week.

Retailers may not be able to celebrate just yet, however. All 179 "no" votes were cast by Democrats, with only 18 voting for the revision. In addition, the White House issued a statement on Tuesday that said, "If the President were presented with H.R. 2575, he would veto it."

"The Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 2575, the Save American Workers Act, because it would significantly increase the deficit and reduce the number of Americans with employer-based health insurance coverage," the White House said in a statement. "Rather than attempting once again to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which the House has tried to do over 50 times, it is time for the Congress to stop fighting old political battles and join the President in an agenda focused on providing greater economic opportunity and security for middle-class families and all those working to get into the middle class."

According to NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, more than 920 convenience store industry stakeholders have sent more than 1,130 letters to U.S. representatives thus far, encouraging them to vote "yes" on H.R. 2575.

Under the ACA, employers with more than 100 workers must offer affordable health insurance by Jan. 1, 2015. Companies employing between 50 and 100 workers must meet this requirement by Jan. 1, 2016. Companies with less than 50 employees are exempt. Any company with 50 or more employees that chooses to ignore the health care mandate faces a $3,000 per-employee fine for every worker beyond the first 30 employees.

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