Bartholomew County Commissioners are preparing to vote on whether to cap all part-time county employees at no more than 28 hours per week.
The change comes as the federal government implements the Affordable Care Act. Under the new federal mandate, any employer with fifty or more employees is required by law to provide health insurance coverage to all employees working more than 30 hours per week.
Commission Chairman Carl Lienhop says Bartholomew County officials are scrambling to adjust work rules for their part-time employees. He says under current policy employers are not required to offer benefits to part-time workers.
“We could work somebody, if somebody so chooses, up to 39 hours and not offer health benefits. That has not been the county‘s intention, although I think we have a couple of employees that do work 36 hours now,” he says.
Lienhop says the commissioners were first considering a cap of 25 hours, but they decided to adjust that number after receiving feedback from county department heads.
“We faced some pushback from some department heads,” he says, “and we feel like that the 28 hour maximum for part-time workers will be workable.”
Lienhop says he expects the new law will result in some part-time employees being made full-time. He also expects more part-time employees will be hired but that a number of part-time workers will see a decrease in hours and pay when the Affordable Care Act kicks in next year.
The first vote on implementing the new rules is expected to be held next Monday with a final vote likely set for March 25th.