Will the New 40-Hour Work Week Jeopardize Restaurant Workers’ Healthcare?

Will the New 40-Hour Work Week Jeopardize Restaurant Workers’ Healthcare?

If you are currently a restaurant worker, your health insurance coverage could be at risk.

Since the GOP officially took control of the House of Representatives last week, there have been a number of bills proposed, many of which would attempt to undo bills and laws that President Obama had passed during his last term. At the top of the list? A new definition of the full-time workweek, which used to be defined at 30 hours, but is now defined as 40 hours, meaning that in order to receive full-time benefits, employers are only required to offer healthcare to employees who work at least 40 hours per week. It’s called the Save American Workers Act of 2015. 

Although the act is intended to prevent employers from hiring part-time workers in order to avoid providing healthcare, critics of the new act explain that it would encourage companies to hire people for 38-39 hours per week and not give them healthcare, according to NBC News. The bill mostly affects workers who are paid by the hour, such as restaurant workers and bartenders.

"Go home at 4:30 on Friday. Sorry, no health care,” said Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) during a debate on the House floor. "This is simply a bad idea, a disincentive for companies to even provide healthcare to their employees.”

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President Obama has vowed to veto the Save American Workers Act.