About a week ago, I blogged about state governments struggling to comply with or evade the ACA's employer pay or play requirements for health insurance. A few days ago, the Wall Street Journal chimed in documenting a further effort on behalf of private employers to alter the ACA requirement of employer pay or play for all employees at 30 hours a week and up. Those of you who kow anything about the demographics of part time work will not be surprised to see the National Restaurant Association as part of the leadership in opposition to the statutory requirement.
And no lesser lights than the folks at NPR and Sarah Kliff are busy documenting the move to part time workers. But will this necessarily last? Or, will employer-sponsored health insurance benefits be used — as they have been from their WWII wage freeze origins — as a way to tie quality employees to the employer, offered by quality service emphasizing employers as a way to skim the best employees for themselves? If not, will enforcing the employer pay or play mandate not free those highest quality service sector employees from job lock and free the market to reward them more appropriately for what they bring to the table?
I suppose how you feel about freeing employees in labor markets all depends upon whether you're a buyer or seller in those labor markets.