Employers around the country are starting to make their voices heard in Washington after realizing the full impact of the new definition of full-time as 30 hours per week for health benefits.

A group of businesses recently met with their congressional representatives during their home state office hours to explain the impact on their companies of the new full-time definition. Some explained that their companies felt forced to cut workers hours, others said they felt that 35 hours per week was a more accurate definition of full-time. As always, employers will have the option of offering coverage to anyone working fewer hours than the minimum.

Because the new 30-hour definition is included in the statutes under the Affordable Care Act, it will take an act of Congress to change it. Several members of Congress have become vocal on this issue and legislation has been introduced, dubbed the “Forty Hours is Full-Time Act,” that would change the definition from 30 hours to 40 hours. The bill has a small chance of passing, however, unless employers are successful in convincing Congress and especially Senate Democrats that the 30-hour definition will have detrimental impacts on employees and businesses.