Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) recently introduced the “Forty Hours is Full Time Act of 2013” (S. 701). It would modify the definition of full-time employee (FTE) for purposes of the shared responsibility mandates in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Starting in 2014, the PPACA imposes a $2,000 employer penalty for each full-time employee – after the first 30 – where the business employs 50 or more full time equivalent employees, does not offer health insurance to all employees, and at least one of the employees qualifies for a federal subsidy to purchase health insurance. The definition of “full-time employee” in the calculation of target employer’s penalty is based upon the total of the number of employees working at least 30 hours a week. (more…)
As Congress gins up its attack on women’s health services, another issue that affects the welfare of women has been getting far less attention. Caregiving in America is a female occupation. Most family caregivers are women — and they constitute 90 percent of paid workers who provide home health services.
Many people do not realize that those who provide home care are not guaranteed the same right to a 40-hour week under the Fair Labor Standards Act as most other workers. Since 1974, home-care aides have been subject to the “companionship exemption,” which deemed “companions to the elderly and infirm” to be much like teenage babysitters: casual laborers who did not need to earn a living wage to support a family. (more…)