The National Restaurant Association applauded Congressman Dan Lipinski’s efforts to change the 2010 health care law’s definition of full-time to 40 hours per week, noting the growing support among lawmakers in both political parties and chambers of Congress in addressing this challenge.

The legislation, known as the “Forty Hours is Full-time Act,” would change the health care law’s definition of full-time as 30 hours per week to 40 hours per week, which is widely accepted by most industries as full-time.

The Lipinski bill mirrors bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Susan Collins and Joe Donnelly, and accomplishes the same goal as another House bill introduced by Congressmen Todd Young, Pete Olson, Mike Kelly, Tim Walberg, and Erik Paulsen. The Association has praised all of these lawmakers for their efforts.

“The National Restaurant Association and our members appreciate Congressman Lipinski’s introduction of the Forty is Full Time Act in the House, signaling bipartisan and bicameral support for addressing the definition of full-time employee in the health care law,” says Scott DeFife, executive vice president, Policy and Government Affairs, National Restaurant Association. “The current definition at 30 hours is not aligned with current workforce practices and does not reflect the desire of restaurant and foodservice employees for flexible work schedules. Only Congress can address this challenge in implementing the law.”

The National Restaurant Association and Illinois Restaurant Association first met with Congressman Lipinski in April as part of the NRA’s Public Affairs Conference and asked for his support addressing this challenge.

The definition of full-time employee is of particular importance to restaurants because of the industry’s unique reliance on large numbers of part-time and seasonal workers with fluctuating and unpredictable works hours, as well as unpredictable lengths of service.

Since enactment of the law, the National Restaurant Association has worked to constructively shape the implementing regulations of the health care law. Nevertheless, there are limits to what can be achieved through the regulatory process alone, DeFife added.

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