This past week I attended a workshop on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) presented by L/P Insurance and hosted by HRC at the Bosma Business Center in Reno.
Here were my main take aways:
1) What I already suspected was confirmed – the word “affordable” has no business in the name as this law is all about accessibility and not in any way about affordability.
2) I really hate inconsistency.
Here’s the deal, I have no problem with calculating the equivalent of FT workers for PPACA because we do it when justifying a supervisor’s exempt status as a manager. Under FLSA, to qualify for exempt status as a manager, one of the criteria is they must supervise 2 FT employees or the equivalent thereof. In FLSA world that means they must supervise 80 non-OT hours. 2 workers that work 40 hours each or 4 workers each working 20 hours are both options that would satisfy the 80 hours requirement.
If it would work the same way under PPACA, I would have no complaints. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Instead, PPACA considers 30 hours to be FT. If you take a supervisor who manages 3 people who work 20 hours each, that supervisor would automatically not qualify for exemption under FLSA because (s)he isn’t supervising the “equivalent of 2 FT employees” but those same 3 workers working 20 hours each that don’t qualify my supervisor are counted as 2 FT employees for PPACA. This means counting the same employees differently depending on which policy you are considering.
Like I said, I don’t mind using the equivalent calculations for determining FT workers but I do mind having them counting differently. If it is 40 hours for one policy, it should be 40 hours for the other. If they want to define a FT worker for PPACA purposes as 30 hours, then allow employers to define a FT worker as 30 hours for FLSA as well.
Maybe I’m wrong but I tend to believe that most employers are trying to be compliant while running their business. I also know there is a limit on how much time they can spend doing things other than actually running their business. It would be nice if the government would try to help us by being consistent – you know, that same thing we are supposed to do when dealing with our employees. But, that’s another story…