Press Releases


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Washington, DC, January 30, 2014 | comments

Rep. Tom Reed and the Ways and Means Committee heard testimony this week on the impact Obamacare’s employer mandate is having on employees’ hours and wages. For the first time in history, Obamacare defines a full-time employee as working 30 hours per week, as opposed to the 40-hour week that has been widely accepted historically. As a result, employers are reducing hours and employees are taking home smaller paychecks.

“This Obamacare mandate is hurting real families today,” Reed said. “Workers are seeing their hours cut and their paychecks reduced because employers are being saddled with another Obamacare mandate. Employees in the retail, grocery, home health, restaurant and similar industries are particularly burdened by this mandate as they typically offer hourly positions. Southern Tier and Finger Lakes families can’t afford that pay cut.”

Reed brought one such example from Jamestown, New York into the conversation in the Ways and Means Committee hearing room. “A small business owner from Jamestown reached out to share his very real frustrations with me: because of Obamacare mandates, he is struggling to keep his restaurant afloat while doing the best for his 120 employees,” Reed said. “Victor of Jamestown writes: ‘It is critically important that the law’s definition of full-time employee be rewritten so that it is more in line with current employment practices and reflects my workforce’s needs and my employee’s desire for flexible hours. If not addressed by Congress soon, disruptions to the workforce could occur and flexible work options for employees will begin to disappear.’

Testimony from a hospitality group, community college, the National Retail Federation, and the Hoover Institution revealed damaging effects the mandate is already having on employees and employers, many of whom are reducing hours for their part-time workers as a result of the 30-hour rule.

“Instead of clearing the path for job creation and growth, Washington is creating obstacles to growth – obstacles for employees and employers like Victor,” Reed continued. “As a co-sponsor of the Save American Workers Act, I am interested in finding solutions for workers and restore their hours and restore their paychecks. This measure would restore the traditional 40-hour definition of a full-time employee. We need to be fair to hourly workers and protect their wages.”

View a clip of Rep. Tom Reed at the Ways and Means Committee hearing here


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