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SmallBytes February 2014 Edition
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Things are heating up in Washington and the restaurant industry is right in the thick of it.


The NYS Restaurant Association continues to support the efforts at the federal level of its partner, the National Restaurant Association (NRA).  All restaurants that are members of the NYS Restaurant Association receive an additional membership in the National Restaurant Association at no additional cost!


One of the major issues that the restaurant industry is pushing in Washington DC is the definition of "full-time” for employees under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee marked-up H.R. 2575, Congressman Young’s favorable bill to address the definition of full-time as contained in the ACA. This is one of the National Restaurant Association’s top legislative priorities for the year. The measure passed committee by a party-line vote 23-14, but the partisan rhetoric was not heavy and some Democrats were talking more about a rushed process rather than philosophical opposition to changing the definition of full-time. See the National Restaurant Association’s press statement and letter for a deeper understanding of their support and the progress they are making.


A vote on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives will be scheduled in the coming weeks. It is likely to face action after the President’s Day recess – which runs the week of Feb 17. With members of Congress home during recess, it is critical that restaurateurs communicate how the 30 hour definition impacts them and their employees. The industry hopes for a strong bipartisan vote in the House to help move this issue forward in the Senate.


We need your help to continue to tell our industry’s story. We’ll be working closely with the National Restaurant Association in support of their grassroots strategy for every member of Congress that is vital to this effort. Share the NRA website with anyone you feel might be interested. Click here and ask Congress to ACT NOW to provide relief from the 30 hour definition of "full-time".


In the meantime, the NRA is working to collect as much data as we can to paint the industry’s side of the picture. Specifically, Congress is asking us:


  • What is it about the 30 hour definition that makes it so difficult to comply?
  • Which employee’s hours are at risk of being managed to 30?
  • If the definition is 40 hours a week, won’t you just cut everyone’s hours to 39?
  • What are employers doing now? Have they started to manage hours?
  • What does this new definition mean to your employees? And how you run your business? Will it change the structure of your workforce?
  • Can’t we wait until it goes into effect to give employers/employees relief?


If you have information you can share please contact Jon Simons, Manager of Advocacy at the National Restaurant Association at 202.331.5907 or


Please consider joining members of the NYS Restaurant Association in Washington DC on April 29 & 30 at the National Restaurant Association’s Public Affairs Conference as we discuss health care, immigration reform and minimum wage with our members of Congress.


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