The City of Cedar Falls is cutting the hours of 59 part-time employees in order to avoid having to pay for their health insurance after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - commonly known as Obamacare - goes into effect in January 2014.
The 59 employees, who currently work 32 hours per week, will now work 29 hours per week, starting Dec. 1. Under the Affordable Care Act, employers must provide health insurance to employees who work 30 or more hours per week. The hourly cuts are being made now so that a "look-back" period won't include those employees when the law does go into effect just over a year from now.
City attorney Tom Meyer told KWWL providing insurance for those 59 workers could cost the city $850,000 per year. Cedar Falls Administrative Services Director Richard McAlister told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier spending that amount that could potentially result in having to lay off 25-30 people.
The majority of those affected work in the human and leisure services, including the library, and in the public works departments.
The decision does not have to be approved by the Cedar Falls City Council until the city's next budgeting process, which is scheduled to happen in February.