Employers across America are dialing back hours for their part-time employees, as a presumably unintended side effect of the Affordable Care Act. The new health care law requires large and medium-sized employers (any with more than 50 full-time employees) to provide health insurance for part-timers who put in more than 30 hours a week. Rather than do that, many businesses are cutting hours, the LA Times reports. "It's the only way to survive economically," says the CEO of the California Retailers Association.
The city of Long Beach, for instance, says that if it didn't cut hours, benefits would cost it $2 million a year, prompting layoffs and other cuts. Of course, the news isn't all bad for part-time workers; many will qualify for the law's new federal premium subsidies, or fall under its Medicaid expansion. Still, the hour dip is frustrating. "It is surely not the intent of the law for employees to lose hours," says one Long Beach employee. "It's ridiculous the city is skirting the law."