Obamacare prevents Luzerne County Council from adopting an ordinance that would require county employees to work at least 40 hours a week to get health benefits, Assistant County Solicitor David Schwager determined.
On Nov. 27, council unanimously approved a motion to draft an ordinance that the county will only provide health benefits to full-time employees who work at least 40 hours a week and record hours worked on the county time-management system.
But the Affordable Care Act, starting on Jan. 1, 2014, will force the county to provide health care benefits to all employes who work at least 30 hours a week, Schwager said. Council members plan to discuss the proposed ordinance on health benefits at Tuesday’s meeting.
Councilman Rick Morelli initially proposed the ordinance to stop the county from providing health benefits to part-time employees not represented by unions. Full-time nonunion employees are currently required to work at least 32.5 hours a week and are eligible for health care benefits.
Council members added the 40-hour-a-week requirement to the proposed ordinance to create a uniform full-time standard for nonunion employees and for future collective bargaining agreements.