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  • Save American Workers Act of 2015

    by Representative Daniel Lipinski

    Posted on 2015-01-08

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    LIPINSKI. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

    Mr. Speaker, I will first enter into the Record a letter from the Illinois Restaurant Association in support of the Save American Workers Act.

    Illinois Restaurant Association, Chicago, IL, January 7, 2015.

    Hon. Dan Lipinski, Congressman, Illinois 3rd Congressional District, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC.

    Dear Congressman Lipinski: I am writing you on behalf of the Illinois Restaurant Association to express my full support of your efforts to restore the traditional definition of full-time employee to 40 hours per week with your sponsorship of H.R. 30, the Save American Workers Act of 2015. This legislation will encourage a business environment where employers in the restaurant and hospitality can focus on creating more jobs, expanding their businesses, and contributing to a robust economy.

    The restaurant and hospitality industry is the largest private sector employer in the state of Illinois, employing over 517,000 people. As President & CEO of the Illinois Restaurant Association, I represent over 25,000 restaurants operating in the state who have expressed the urgent need to redefine the full-time work week definition of 30-hour-per- week.

    Because of the Affordable Care Act's arbitrary 30-hour-per- week definition of a full-time employee, restaurants are being forced to restructure their workforce by reducing their employees' hours. Employees are losing the mobility and flexibility in their schedules they normally would enjoy when working at a restaurant. Opportunities are decreasing for young and inexperienced workers to gain entry-level employment and advance into a fulfilling career in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

    The implications of this issue cannot be overstated. Nationally, restaurants employ over 13.5 million people, and our industry is a major driver of the economic recovery. If Congress does not act to address this issue, thousands of jobs will be lost and businesses will suffer. I encourage you and your colleagues in Congress to pass the Save American Workers Act of 2015, a piece of common sense legislation that will protect jobs and strengthen the American economy.

    Sincerely, Sam Toia, President & CEO, Illinois Restaurant Association.

    Mr. LIPINSKI. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the Save American Workers Act, which I join the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Young) in introducing again this year.

    I have not supported and I do not support the repeal of the ACA, but some commonsense changes need to be made. The administration has already acknowledged difficulties in implementing the employer mandate by instituting delays and substantial administrative changes.

    One problem is that the ACA defines full-time work as 30 hours a week, causing small businesses, local governments, and schools to cut the hours of workers and limit workers' scheduling flexibility. The CBO has confirmed that shifting to a 40-hour full-time definition-- Americans' common understanding of full-time work--would lead to some workers seeing an increase in their take-home pay.

    Even the President's former senior adviser, David Axelrod, has suggested that the President consider this change. So let's do right by America's part-time workers, family businesses, local governments, and schools. Let's pass this bill and fix this broken part of the ACA.

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