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Legislation Passed Relating to Full-Time Employees under Affordable Care Act


February 4, 2015

The House passed the Save American Workers Act (H.R. 30), which would redefine full-time employment under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) from 30 hours to 40 hours per week for purposes of the employer mandate, thereby lessening the obligations of employers under the ACA. A companion bill has been introduced in the Senate. Last year, a prior version of the bill passed the House, but did not advance in the Senate.

The House also passed the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act (H.R. 33) to exempt volunteer firefighters from the definition of full-time employees under the ACA, which would mean that volunteer fire departments would not have to count hours worked by qualified emergency service volunteers when determining the number of full-time employees for purposes of the employer mandate under the ACA. Historically, the IRS treated volunteer firefighters as “employees” for tax purposes, raising a concern that volunteer fire departments would have to treat them as employees for purposes of the employer mandate. The IRS previously indicated that it will not count hours of volunteer firefighters for these purposes, but this legislation seeks to provide certainty on the point.

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