Posts Tagged ‘employment’

ACA Loophole

March 21, 2013

I was reading in my local paper an article about changes that the County Conservation Board would be making in the future.  They regularly employ individuals for seasonal work.  These employees work forty hour weeks, some of them for more than four months.  Under the Affordable Care Act the county will be required to provide health coverage for these individuals.  Some of these people are actually retired, covered by Medicare.  The county will still be required to provide health coverage under the ACA.  Anyone working more than thirty hours a week for more than four months  must be provided health insurance or the employer will face penalties.

The solution is likely to be either limit the employee to four months, or more likely, reduce the weekly hours to less than thirty hours a week, and hire more people to make up the hours.  This will allow the county to still get the work done and not have to provide coverage.

I strongly suspect that there will be a lot of companies that will take advantage of this loophole.  Instead of providing health care, they will simply have more employees, working less than thirty hours.

This, of course, will mean that their employees will make less money, and be legally responsible for their own health care.  This health care will be made available at lower rates, subsidized by the government, adding to the financial burden placed on our country.

In addition, the workers will most likely need to find additional employment, working a second job to provide enough income to meet their needs.

I am concerned about the future for workers, employers, the medical field, and our government.

Work Ethic

August 11, 2009

“If you have time to lean, you have time to clean.”

“We’re paying you to work, not read magazines.”

“There is always something to do.”

When I was a teenager my parents owned and operated a couple of small grocery stores.  The above quotes are things that I heard them say many times over the years.  I am sure that it was influential in the development of my own work ethic.  Since I worked for my parents I did not want to have a reputation for getting away with being a slackard, I wanted to be an example of a good worker.

I started working at the stores when I was in the 8th grade.  My first official job was unloading the milk truck three times  a week.  I would price and stock the product.  It took only about an hour an a half each time.  It was good for a little pocket money.  When I was sixteen I started working regular shifts, both as a stocker and cashier.  By the time I was seventeen I was ordering product, making deposits, conducting interviews, etc.  I worked about twenty four hours a week during the school year, and full time in the summers.  After graduating from high school I went to work full time. 

After working for my parents for about a year and a half after high school, I decided that I did not want to work in the family business.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I knew that I wanted a job that I could just go to work and then go home.  The store was a job that was always present.  It was a topic of conversation at the dinner table and even when we had company. 

It is ironic that I wanted a job where I just punched a clock, because now, many years later I work two jobs, neither of which involve a clock.  I am a pastor and a college instructor. 

There is always work to do.

I am never off the clock.  There is no clock.

The problem is, that since there is no clock, and no end to the work that could be done I have to be careful not to become a workaholic.  Church work, school work, work at home, they all blur together.  Things are done according to priority. 

In eighteen years, there has never been a time when everything was done. 

I hear people say that no one on their death bed ever looks back and says that they wish they had spent more time at the office, and yet, I don’t want to be lazy. 

As in so much of life, the key is in finding the appropriate balance.  Work hard, but recognize that there is more to life than work.

The Shackling of American Business

July 16, 2009

A few years ago the newly Democratic congress made it a priority to substantially raise the minimum wage.  I wonder what happened to those businesses that were barely surviving?  When the government forced them to raise their employee compensation I imagine some of them had to shut down.  Those employees who were making minimum wage were then added to the lists of the unemployed, and the businesses were no longer paying taxes, since they could not afford to stay in business.  They were too small to survive the increase in overhead cost.

Now our Democratic president and congress are pushing through a bill that will require “those who can afford it” to provide health insurance for their employees.  Who is going to decide “who can afford it”?  Will it be the same people who have approved spending enormous sums of  money that we do not have ourselves?  I do not trust them to make the right decision.

I am confident that there will be some companies that will not survive this latest burden being placed upon them by the government. 

More people on the unemployment roles.

Less companies paying taxes.

I suspect that politicians forget what life is like in the “real” world.  Most families are two income families.   At least one, needs to find a job that offers benefits.  That means that the other partner could work a job that does not offer benefits, but that still adds to the family income.  There is a place for the job that does not offer benefits, but that still provides income. 

In the world that I live in, you accept whatever job you can get, and then you look for a better one, until you are satisfied with your situation.   

Employers pay as well as they can afford to pay, so that they retain their good employees. 

It’s called free enterprise and it has worked pretty well.

Our government is going to squeeze more companies out of business by placing upon them the shackles of mandatory higher wages and now, health care provision.

It’s Not Just a Job

January 19, 2009

For a Christian, a job should be more than simply a means to a paycheck.  Don’t get me wrong, a paycheck is important, and most people need a job to get one! Yet, if the only reason that we are trudging off to work each day is to earn the money for the things that we want or need, then something is missing from our lives. 

I believe that our place of employment is a part of God’s plan and purpose for our lives.  That he can use our jobs to have an impact in molding our character, and that we can have an impact at our jobs for the kingdom of God. 

God can use our jobs in our lives, and God can use us at our jobs.

This is true whether the job is a temporary means to an end, or a temporary job that lasts twenty years, or a career that one worked long and hard to obtain. 

God can, and does use our employment in our lives,  and us in our place of employment.  It is not just a job, it is a part of God’s plan for our life.  When we realize that, it can help make the daily grind a little bit easier.