Perry limits some employees’ hours to comply with health care law

chwright@macon.comNovember 19, 2013 

PERRY -- Part-time and seasonal city employees cannot work more than 25 hours a week, per a restriction Perry City Council set Tuesday evening to prevent violations of the new health care law.

City officials said their health insurance carrier warned them that any employee who works more than 30 hours per week, even just once, could be eligible for health care under the Affordable Care Act. Mayor Jimmy Faircloth said the restriction council set ensures the city’s overall plan isn’t affected.

“We’re trying to comply, and we don’t want to do anything that would jeopardize the plan for everyone,” Faircloth said.

About 15 of the city’s 129 employees are part-time or seasonal workers, according to City Manager Lee Gilmour. Gilmour said seasonal workers include lifeguards and summer camp employees, and part-time employees include positions in the police and fire departments.

Faircloth said council provided a five-hour cushion in case an employee inadvertently works more hours than scheduled, and supervisors are tasked with making sure the cushion is neither needed nor exceeded.

“I don’t want there to be an accidental mistake,” Faircloth said.

Also at the meeting, council voted to buy a small parcel of property for green space. Council agreed to offer $89,000 but declined to say where the land is until after the sale is final.

Faircloth said he expects the city will finalize the purchase within a month.

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