Employers employing at least 50 employees are subject to the employer shared responsibility provisions. A full-time employee is an individual employed at least 30 hours per week, on average. An employer that meets the 50 full-time employees threshold is referred to as an 'applicable large employer' (ALE). The 50 full-time employees can be calculated based on a combination of full-time and part-time employees. For example, an employer that employs 40 full-time employees (30 hours or more per week) and 20 employees working 15 hours per week on average has the equivalent of 50 full-time employees, and would be characterized as a large employer.
Pursuant to the employer shared responsibility provisions, if these employers do not offer health coverage that provides a minimum level of coverage to their full-time employees and dependents, the employer may be subject to an employer shared responsibility or 'pay-or-play' penalty if one of its full-time employees receives a premium tax credit for purchasing individual coverage from one of the new affordable insurance exchanges, also called the health insurance marketplaces.
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This article was originally published in the April 2016 issue of the New Jersey Lawyer, a publication of the New Jersey State Bar Association, and is reprinted here with permission.