Cedar Falls cuts work hours due to ObamaCare - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Falls cuts work hours due to ObamaCare

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as "ObamaCare," doesn't go into full effect until 2014.

However, several private companies have said they'll cut the hours of full-time workers to part-time to avoid the cost of providing health insurance.

Now, one city in eastern Iowa plans to do the same thing with workers who are already part-time.

City officials in Cedar Falls say they're being proactive by cutting hours of part-time workers starting Dec. 1.

That's because the Affordable Care Act requires employers to provide health insurance to employees who work at least 30 hours per week.

It means 59 permanent part-time employees who now work 32 hours a week will be scheduled for 29 hours per week starting Dec. 1.

Those workers have jobs in the public works and parks departments as well as at the public library.

Most of those workers are seasonal workers.

City officials say they were advised by their health care provider to make the changes now because there will be a look-back period once the law goes into effect.

They say the hours worked during that period would classify who gets insurance and who doesn't.

They say the nature of those seasonal positions requires the city to take action now.

City attorney Tom Meyer said if every one of those 59 workers were to remain at 30 hours per week and get health insurance, it could cost the city as much as $850,000 per year.

Some workers tell us the decision came suddenly and that they are concerned that good employees may be forced to quit and be replaced by people who don't have their skills or experience.

City officials say provisions of the Affordable Care Act are still unclear so there's a possibility these changes could be revised sometime next year.

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