Highland reverses course on part-time hour limits

2013-07-27T20:30:00Z Highland reverses course on part-time hour limitsCharles F. Haber Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
July 27, 2013 8:30 pm  • 

HIGHLAND | The Town Council this week reversed a previous ruling limiting the work hours of part-time town employees in relation to the federal Affordable Care Act.

The new health care law had required employers with more than 50 full-time employees to provide them with health insurance starting in 2014. The act recognizes full time as 30 hours per week or more.

The Obama administration earlier this month announced that provision of the law would be delayed by one year.

The town's part-time workers do not receive health insurance. However, if they work 30 or more hours per week, the town would be required to take on the added expense of providing coverage, council President Brian Novak, D-4th, said last month.

As a result, the Town Council approved a provision June 24 that limited part-time town employees from working as many as 30 hours a week.

Because of the provision's delay, the Town Council this week unanimously voted to at least temporarily cancel the limitation on part-time hours.

Clerk-Treasurer Michael Griffin said the move has "the effect of repealing the limitation on part-time scheduling."

"However, I do want to caution the council that this repeal doesn't have an end date on it," Griffin said.

As a result, the council will be required to set a definite policy by Dec. 1, Griffin said.

Griffin said a state medical trust attorney will be brought in to advise the council on its options under the Affordable Care Act.

"This at least will give a little breathing room to department heads who are concerned about scheduling changes," he said.

In other business, the council approved homeowner assessments for the reconstruction of the 2800 and 2900 blocks of 98th Street.

The unanimous vote came after a public hearing where residents offered no comments.

The assessments, for sidewalks and curbs, range from $980 to $4,917.15.

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