BTerrell Group Blog

A Study in Unintended Consequences - ACA Results in Shorter Employee Workweeks

Posted by Brian Terrell on Mon, May 18, 2015

The construction industry seems to be booming in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, so I was surprised to recently hear of a young man in Dallas having trouble finding a job working 40 hours per week in that industry. As I considered the situation, I realized that many companies may be lowering the number of hours available to employees, and this could be an unintended consequence of Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements taking effect in January 2015.


The ACA requires employers to provide coverage or pay a penalty based on the number of employees working 30 or more hours per week. The Employer Shared Responsibility provision of this statute defines a full-time employee as an individual employed on average at least 30 hours of service per week, and this provision applies only to employers with 100 full-time employees starting in 2015 (50 full-time employees starting in 2016).

As a result, many companies across various industries are changing scheduling activities. According to Fox Business, Mercer, a human resources consulting company, conducted a survey that concluded that 12% of all U.S. employers reported plans to reduce workers’ hours as a direct result of the ACA. Fox Business also reported that in a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 41% of 603 small business owners said they have delayed hiring because of the federal healthcare law. One in five had already cut hours when the survey results were published. A report from the UC Berkeley Labor Center shows which workers are most at risk of reduced work hours under the ACA. suggests seven steps to prepare for ACA regulations including tracking employee work hours and determining who you must cover, but I suggest leaving the details to the experts to help avoid penalties. Luckily for Intacct users, AmeriFlex Workforce (integrated with Intacct through WorkforceGo!) helps make ACA compliance monitoring easy by simplifying processes around ACA compliance, providing accurate visibility into average hours worked by full-time and part-time employees (including the look-back and stability periods), and automating benefits eligibility notification and open enrollment.

Contact us for more information about AmeriFlex Workforce and how it can help simplify ACA compliance for your company.

Tags: Affordable Care Act, ACA, AmeriFlex, Workforce Go!, ACA compliance,