City postpones discussion on part-time workers

Published 11:06 am Wednesday, July 10, 2013

FRANKLIN—City attorney Taylor Williams wanted to get ahead of the Affordable Care Act and define part-time employees in the city policy, but that will have to wait for another day.

Under the Affordable Care Act, which will go into effect in January 2015, employees receiving 30 hours or more will receive health benefits. Previously, the city had not defined how many hours a part-time employee received, other than noting that full-time employees must average 37.5 hours.

Williams recommended that council add the change to its personnel policy to state that a part-time employee may only work 29 or fewer hours each week.

This, however, opened up a question among several council members, who were concerned about a potential new category of employee getting 30 to 37 hours per week.

City Manager Randy Martin said it was his understanding that there would be no employees in that category, though that would ultimately be a prerogative of the council. Martin also said department heads would be responsible for making sure part-time employees do not exceed 29 hours each week.

In the event the council decides to create a new “middle” category of worker, Martin said the members would have to decide if this worker would receive any other type of benefit.

The federal government would mandate that the worker receiving 30 hours or more receive health benefits.

Mona L. Murphy, Ward 4, said she didn’t want to see a middle ground type of worker.

But other council members had questions, and since they were not under a time crunch, Mayor Raystine Johnson-Ashburn tabled the issue until a future date. The mayor recommended that council members submit their ideas for the potential middle ground and questions to the city manager.