Congress introduces ACA Seasonal Relief Legislation

Posted On 29 Jul 2014
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atmosphere_young_grower20ALEXANDRIA, USA: Bipartisan legislation to simplify compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for seasonal employers was introduced July 28 in the House of Representatives after months of lobbying by the Society of American Florists (SAF) and coalition partners.

Under current law, different definitions of seasonal, with different lengths of service, are used to determine whether a business is large or small under the ACA. The result has been confusing and often incorrect compliance information that puts seasonal employers at risk for potential tax liabilities.

“When making their best efforts to offer ACA complaint coverage, seasonal employers deserve the opportunity to get it right without fear of penalties they did not intend to pay,” said SAF Senior Director of Government Relations Corey Connors. “The STARS Act will provide clarity for seasonal employers throughout our industry, allowing our members to execute their business plans and staffing strategies with certainty.”

Connors added, “In addition to our champions on Capitol Hill and our coalition partners who have helped move this bill forward, we especially want to acknowledge and thank those SAF members who jumpstarted this effort during SAF Congressional Action Days in March.”

The “Simplifying Technical Aspects Regarding Seasonality (STARS) Act of 2014” would define “seasonal employee” as a worker who is employed on a seasonal basis for six months or less during a calendar year, consistent with Department of Treasury regulations.

The STARS Act would also simplify the methods for seasonal employers to determine business size and ultimately whether the business and seasonal employees are subject to the ACA employer mandate or not.

The bill was introduced by Representatives Jim Renacci, (R-16-OH), Kurt Schrader (D-5-OR), Lynn Jenkins (R-2-KS) and Jim Costa (D-16-CA).

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