US Rep. Rooney announces introduction of act to protect workers from lost wages under Obamacare

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US Rep. Tom Rooney today announced legislation to protect workers from losing jobs, hours and wages due to an onerous provision in Obamacare that redefines “full-time” employment as 30 hours, rather than 40 hours per week. 

The “Save American Workers Act” was introduced today by Rep. Todd Young of Indiana, with Rooney as an original cosponsor, and will repeal the 30-hour definition of full-time employment to restore the traditional 40-hour definition.

To Rooney and others, this will help prevent businesses from reducing employee hours to 29 hours or less.  USA Today and the Wall Street Journal have reported that businesses have planned to bring on more part-time workers next year or cut hours for full-time employees to spare some costs of compliance. 

Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s have already began to hire part-time workers to replace full-time employees who left, and home retailer Anna’s Linens Inc. is considering cutting hours for current full-time employees to avoid the insurance mandate. Regal Cinemas has also announced they would be cutting the hours of thousands of employees as a result of mandates in the health care act.

According to a study by the Hudson Institute, about 3.2 million jobs are at risk in the franchise industry alone; and according to the US Chambers of Commerce and Harris Interactive, about 72 percent of small businesses cite Obamacare as an obstacle to job creation.

Cutting employee hours to avoid costs under Obamacare will lead to greater widespread underemployment and shift responsibility for health coverage cost sharing to state and federal taxpayers.