Last week, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill that would change the definition of a full-time employee for purposes of the employer mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”). 

The bill, Save American Workers Act of 2014 (H.R. 2575), would replace the current 30-hours per week definition of full-time employee with a 40-hours per week standard. 

Under the ACA, employers with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalents, are required to offer health coverage to full-time employees or pay an excise tax. Earlier this year, the Treasury Department issued transition relief from the employer mandate in 2015. Employers with at least 50 but less than 100 full-time employees are not subject to the employer mandate until 2016; employers with 100 or more full-time employees must offer coverage to at least 70% of their full-time employees in 2015, and at least 95% of their full-time employees in 2016. 

The bill’s future is unclear as it is unlikely to be considered in the Democratic-majority Senate and President Obama has threatened to veto it.