Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) introduced the Student Worker Exemption Act, H.R. 210, which would exempt student workers from the Employer Mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Under the ACA—commonly referred to as Obamacare—colleges and universities are required to provide health insurance coverage to student employees who work more than 30 hours a week for 3 months or more, including summer breaks. Due to the costly nature of this new requirement, many colleges could be forced to cut student workers’ hours and some jobs altogether.
“At a time when tuition costs are constantly on the rise and college is unaffordable for so many young people, student workers rely upon on-campus employment opportunities to offset the high cost of tuition,” Meadows said. “This requirement will directly impact universities’ ability to hire student workers.”
“The bill will prevent colleges and universities from being faced with the difficult decision to cut student workers’ hours and will help prevent students from losing on-campus jobs,” Meadows added.
The bipartisan legislation has been endorsed by the American Council on Education (ACE) and the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR).
Tom Ross, the President of the University of North Carolina (UNC) system, also endorsed the bill and Western Carolina University (WCU) Chancellor David Belcher first inspired the idea. The UNC system assisted in its drafting.
“I appreciate Rep. Meadows’ leadership on this important issue facing our University. The University of North Carolina system wholeheartedly supports and endorses the bipartisan Student Worker Exemption Act.”
In the UNC system alone there are 3,900 student workers who would fall under the Employer Mandate, costing the universities about $21 million.
Reps. Susan Brooks (R-IN), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Renee Ellmers (R-NC), Richard Hanna (R-NY), Walter Jones (R-NC), Patrick Murphy (D-FL), Reid Ribble (R-WI), Todd Rokita (R-IN), Peter Roskam (R-IL), and Michael Turner (R-OH) joined Rep. Meadows as original cosponsors of the bill.