The National Restaurant Association along with organizations representing hundreds of thousands of employers and tens of millions of employees are launching the "More Time for Full-Time" initiative.

The initiative, which includes the International Franchise Association, the National Restaurant Association, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the National Retail Federation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Rental Association, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, the National Association of Convenience Stores, the National Grocers Association, and the National Association of Theatre Owners, will highlight the negative impact the 30-hour work week definition in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has on employees and employers, and urges Congress to restore the traditional definition of a full-time employee to 40 hours per week through bipartisan reform. 

Returning to a traditional 40-hour definition would benefit employees through more hours and income, and employers would gain the ability to focus on growth and expansion instead of restructuring their workforce.

The launch includes a video, which will be featured on the new website that highlights the challenges workers and employers face as a result of the 30-hour work week definition.

“As the nation’s second largest private sector employer, restaurants provide opportunity to a workforce of over 13.5 million employees,” says National Restaurant Association president and CEO Dawn Sweeney. “The restaurant and foodservice industries are attractive to millions of Americans looking for flexible work schedules. As the current health care law stands, the artificially low bright line of 30 hours as full time forces employers to limit that flexibility, stifling opportunity for expansion and job creation to the detriment of our workforce. 

"Raising the law’s definition of full-time employee status to more traditional standard operating practices will alleviate the burden placed on restaurant operators," she adds. "They can then continue to provide flexibility to their employees, grow their businesses, and continue to be job creators.”

“As all Americans have known for decades, 40 hours represents the widely-accepted definition of a full-time work week," says Steve Caldeira, International Franchise Association president and CEO. "Unless there is a statutory change to the definition of a full-time employee in the ACA, there will be fewer full-time jobs, more part-time workers, and fewer overall hours available for Americans to work. This initiative will bring greater focus to the negative impact this law is having for workers and employers and hopefully move us closer to the bipartisan reform we need.”

“The More Time for Full-Time initiative provides an honest look at how the new definition of a full-time employee under Obamacare is affecting men and women who work hard every day to care for themselves and their families,” says Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. “This short-sighted change greatly limits workers’ ability to maintain the flexible work schedule they seek in the hotel industry. Returning to the traditional 40-hour work week would restore opportunities for hard-working Americans, and allow hoteliers to better meet their employees’ needs.”

“The retail industry is committed to the smooth implementation of the Affordable Care Act,” says Neil Trautwein, National Retail Federation vice president for health policy. “However, for the health care law to work effectively, practical and necessary modifications need to occur, including readjusting the law’s definition of what constitutes a full-time worker back to 40 hours a week. 

"Returning to the industry standard of 40 hours would benefit employers and employees alike and lessen the burden Obamacare places on businesses and the economy. The retail community supports the bipartisan work of the ‘More Time for Full-Time’ initiative and looks forward to working with the administration and Congress to make this change a reality.”

“Employees and employers alike are starting to feel the painful effects of the 30-hour work week definition,” says Bruce Josten, U.S. Chamber of Commerce executive vice president for government affairs. “Nobody benefits when employees lose the flexibility they value or the work and income they rely upon, and employers face yet another obstacle to managing their workforce in a challenging economic climate. Restoring the traditional 40-hour work week is a small but needed change that benefits everyone. A majority in the House understands this. Now 

we need the Senate and President Obama to understand this as well.”

“The ACA was passed to help the very people that the 30-hour definition hurts. The definition of FTE needs to be increased to 40 hours," says John McClelland, American Rental Association vice president of government affairs.

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