New regulations might limit work for students

Students who work on-campus are beginning to be limited to 28 hours of work a week in an attempt by University employers to sidestep health care coverage requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly refereed to as Obamacare, mandates that employers with more than 50 employees are required to provide health benefits for employees that work at least 30 hours-a-week or else they must pay a fine. According to the United States Department of Labor, employers do not have to offer their full-time employees health benefits until January 1, 2014, but are required to evaluate which employees fit the basic requirements for full-time employment in 2013 before getting the benefits.

Dawn Chong, director of Student Employment Services, acknowledged the difficult situation student workers have been put in due to the new requirements in a Student Employment Services press release.

“After reviewing government updates, regulations, and consulting with other Ohio universities, we have decided to limit the total number amount of hours students can work on the BGSU payroll each week,” Chong wrote. “We understand that this decision will mean a loss of hours and income for some of our students, but BGSU, like many other colleges around the nation, are left without a reasonable option at this time.”

The “28 hours-a-week” limit went into place on May 12. Further restrictions have been placed on international students, who are not permitted to work more than 20 hours a week during the school year, according to the Student Employment Services press release.

Junior Abigail Nachtman works as many hours as a full-time employee but splits her hours between two jobs during the school year. She works approximately 20 hours a week as an on-campus commissary worker in Kreischer Sundial and 15 hours off-campus as an employee of Bath and Body Works.

“I have heard that a few of my friends that work at BGSU can only work so many hours a week because of extra costs,” Nachtman said.

A lot of her friends do not have the opportunity to work two jobs during the school year and depend on their on-campus job, she said.

“I do believe that this will affect student workers because they want the hours, but they can’t get them if they only have time for one job,” Nachtman said. “Students need to be able to make enough to pay rent and other expenses, but it is hard to do that if there is a cap on the number of hours that they can have at a minimum wage job.”

Senior Masen Gilbert is not worried about the hour restrictions because he never comes close to the full-time employee requirements. Gilbert guides traffic during sporting events for the University during the school year.

“I could not work a full 30 hours if I tried,” Gilbert said.

Non-student workers at the University are the people that will be most affected, Gilbert said.

“I do think workers that are not students are a lot more vulnerable in this situation because there are so many of us part-time workers on campus that could potentially take hours that they need to get health benefits.”