Affordable Care Act cuts summer work to 29 hours per week

By Elisa Juliano

April 16, 2014

As a direct result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act, this summer, Dominican student workers will only be allowed to work 29 hours per week.

Human Resources Generalist Angelique Reda said that the decision to cut back on hours was not Dominican’s decision, but one directly from the U.S. Department of Treasury and the IRS.

Passed in 2010, the ACA, otherwise known “ Obamacare,” includes an employer mandate section that requires businesses to offer health insurance to employees working more than 30 hours per week. Businesses that fail to count these employees as full-time and provide them with health insurance have to pay a fine. Last summer, as a result of the mandate, Dominican limited student workers to work a maximum of 29 hours a week to avoid having to pay a fee or provide health insurance, which can grow costly.

“I’m sure there are people upset about it, but it shouldn’t come as a shock,” Reda said.

Sophomore Sara Angel, who will work as a summer orientation leader and a Welcome Desk receptionist this summer, does not understand why hours are being limited both nationally and on campus.

“Are we underfunded or just not needed as much? I would like to know why,” Angel said.

Reda hopes that students are not too worried about losing working hours on campus, especially since some departments on campus have created more opportunities for students to work.

“We have been encouraging departments to hire internships versus student employees,” Reda said. “A department that needed one student for 40 hours can now hire two students.”

Reda says the Summer Torch program is essentially coded with the university as an internship/tuition credit program, which allows for students to serve as summer orientation leaders while also applying for other campus positions.

This summer, junior Emma Hindman will work as the lead orientation assistant under Student Involvement Director Michael Lango.

“I am expecting to work between 30 and 35 hours,” Hindman said.

For students who may feel as though they are in a financial bind on campus and would like more hours for employment, they are always welcome to visit the Career Development Center to get more information about on and off-campus internships over the summer.