Oppose Minimum Wage Increases!

Two critical legislative issues are scheduled for votes this week. Please read the updates below and go to www.cfavotes.com to express your concerns about an increase in minimum wage and the 30-hour full-time definition in the Affordable Care Act.

History

Minimum Wage

Over the last several years, President Obama has supported an increase in the federal minimum wage as one of the administration’s key legislative priorities. In January 2014, the president raised the minimum wage for new federally contracted workers to $10.10 per hour and—most recently—instructed the U.S. Department of Labor to issue new regulations on overtime rules.

In Congress, House and Senate Labor Committee Chairmen Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Congressman George Miller (D-CA-11) introduced legislation (S. 1737, H.R. 1010) which would increase the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25 to $10.10 over two years and three months—a nearly 40 percent increase—and automatically index the wage to inflation each year thereafter. The legislation also calls for increasing the minimum cash wage for tipped employees, until it reaches 70 percent of the federal minimum wage. This means the minimum cash wage for tipped employees would triple, in stages, to $7.07.

40 Hour Full-Time Definition

The Affordable Care Act requires employers with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees to offer compliant coverage to their full-time employees, defined as those working a minimum of 30-hours per week. In June 2013, Rep. Todd Young (R-IN-09) introduced the Save American Workers Act of 2013 (H.R. 2575) which re-defines a full-time employee as working as 40-hours per week, as consistent with workplace standards. H.R. 2575 accurately reflects both employers’ workforce needs and their employees’ desire for flexible hours. The current 30-hour definition will force restaurant operators to cut their employees’ hours and force many to work two 20-hour jobs to make ends meet.

Summary

Minimum Wage

After holding several hearings in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (“HELP”) Committee, Senate leaders are hopeful to pass S.1737 in the Senate. Chairman Harkin hopes to gather several GOP votes by including pro-business measures in the bill, including extensions of the cap for small business deductions, among other provisions. The Senate will likely vote on S. 1737 by the end of next week. If it succeeds, the proposal will face a far more difficult challenge in the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives.

40 Hour Full-Time Definition

Shortly after Rep. Young’s bill was introduced, Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL-03)—a democrat—introduced a nearly identical bill. After several months of increasing partisan support for the two bills, Rep. Lipinski and seven other Blue Dog Democrats signed onto H.R. 2575, thus signaling bipartisan support for the measure. On February 4, 2014, the House Ways and Means Committee held a markup of Young’s bill, and referred it to the full House of Representatives, where it is likely to receive a vote this week. If passed, the Senate may be pressured to pass its version of the bill (S. 1188), which also has bi-partisan support.

Two of CFA’s critical legislative issues are scheduled for votes! ACT NOW!

Click here to oppose the minimum wage increase!

Click here to support a 40-hour definition of “full-time employee” in the Affordable Care Act!

If you have any questions, please contact the CFA Government Relations Department at 202-416-0270 or via email at govrelations@thecfainc.com