Many are perplexed as to why the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act defines full time equivalent workers as those working at least 30 hours a week given the standard 40 hour work week established by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data on average weekly hours worked by retail employees — a sizable proportion of workers — provides some insight. The data show the average work week for retail trade workers holding steady at just over 31 hours dating back to early 2006, well before the enactment of the Affordable Care Act.
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