Under the new law, which takes effect in January 2014, employees who work at least a 30-hour work week must receive health benefits from their employers. Some colleges are concerned about how to tally up the hours adjuncts spend on the job to determine if they have reached that full-time status. Most adjuncts don’t receive health benefits, and the legislation appeared to pave the way for them to finally get access.
“IRS Says Colleges Must Be ‘Reasonable’ When Calculating Adjuncts’ Work Hours,” Audrey Williams June
One of the most insidious loopholes in labor law is the idea of the part-time and or contract worker. Through that tiny little crack administrators have driven the entire field of higher education teaching right into the ground. As long as you are below 30 hours in a technical sense (never mind the actual hours you work), you can be treated as the proverbial cog in the machine: no benefits or job security or health care or whatever.
This is why, at bottom, we’ve gone from 70% full-time faculty to 70% part-time in the last thirty years or so. Administrators didn’t want to pay benefits; since part-time and contract workers are temporary– “seasonal”?– they don’t need to be paid as much as full-time permanent employees. What’s the best way to save money, then? Make everyone temporary. It’d be great if the ACA was the straw that breaks the camel’s back.