ARLINGTON, VA – AUGUST 2, 2013 – As the national association representing the supermarket, grocery store and food wholesaler industry, the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) supports legislation introduced today (H.R. 2988) led by Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) that would amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), so the definition of “full-time employee” is in line with practical workforce standards. 

FMI Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs Jennifer Hatcher said, “Rep. Lipinski’s shared legislation, along with S. 1188 and H.R. 2575, demonstrates the growing bicameral and bipartisan consensus that the ACA’s 30-hours-per-week definition for full-time employees needs to be addressed in order for the law to be effective and to minimize the disruption to the American workforce.  

“Food retailers and wholesalers employ 3.5 million full-time, part-time and seasonal workers—many operating under fluctuating work schedules in order to meet employee needs and varying consumer demand.  FMI has been steadfast in its efforts to seek flexibility and minimize new burdens under ACA in order for retailers and wholesalers to continue to provide quality health coverage that is affordable to both the employee and the employer. 

“While the Administration has taken steps to provide some flexibility within the scope of the health coverage law, the ACA’s 30-hour-per-week definition for full-time employees is an impediment to how food retailers manage their workforces, adjust work schedules and offer employee benefits well beyond health care.

“We appreciate these Members of Congress stepping forward to address this issue, and we offer our support to legislative efforts that can be enacted this year.”