ACA & Seasonal Employment: Overview

The Affordable Care Act includes different definitions for seasonal employment, creating challenges for small businesses when they must determine whether they meet the “large” employer threshold under the ACA. Legislation should amend the ACA to exclude seasonal employees from the definition of “full-time employee” for purposes of the ACA's employer mandate for large businesses (defined as those exceeding 50 full-time-equivalent employees). Applying one definition of seasonal employment under the ACA will eliminate confusion, reduce the administrative burden for small businesses, and help employers avoid steep penalties.

Our Position

The National Restaurant Association supports legislation that would clearly identify a seasonal employee as an individual employed in a position for less than six months and which requires performing labor or services that are ordinarily performed at certain seasons or periods of the year. Legislation should provide essential clarity for small businesses hiring American employees and seeking to comply with the ACA. A single seasonal-employee definition under the ACA will help small businesses and seasonal employees in ski regions, summer destinations, college towns, and hospitality venues to fully meet seasonal restaurant demand.