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Monday, February 11, 2013

Obamacare Fallout- Virginia Part-Time State Workers Seeing Hours Cut To 29 Hr Limit

By Susan Duclos

It is not only private sector businesses and college universities cutting workers' hours to avoid the onerous costs of Obamacare, where working 30 hours a week will now be considered full time and require employers to provide health insurance.

The state of Virginia is now also cutting their part-time employees' hours to avoid those Obamacare costs:

Thousands of part-time state workers, including many in Hampton Roads, are being told they'll be allowed to work no more than 29 hours a week going forward.

The reason: The federal Affordable Care Act requires that employees working 30 hours a week or more receive health care benefits - which would cost Virginia tens of millions of dollars a year.
The new policy will mean a pay cut for many part-timers, including adjunct college professors.

The 29-hour limit is on its way to becoming state law, thanks to language inserted into the state budget at the request of Gov. Bob McDonnell's administration. The language appears in both versions of the budget adopted Thursday by the Senate and House of Delegates.

The language limits wage employees - the state's term for those paid by the hour - in all branches of state government to an average of 29 hours a week over the course of a year.

Anticipating legislative approval of the policy, the state Department of Human Resource Management has advised all state agencies to implement it now.

The state has more than 37,000 wage employees. More than 7,000 of them have been working at least 30 hours a week, according to a recent survey taken by the department.

Providing basic health care benefits to those workers and their dependents would cost the state as much as $110 million a year, the department estimates.

Some businesses cannot afford the additional costs without passing those losses on to costumers or capping their workers' hours. As Virgina shows, neither can some states afford those additional costs and still maintain a balanced budget.

More at Breitbart and Think Progress