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Employers that hire Holiday Help: Understand the Health Care Law’s Rules Around Seasonal Workers

As an employer, your size – for purposes of the Affordable Care Act – is determined by the number of your employees. If you hire seasonal or holiday workers, you should know how these employees are counted under the health care law.

Employer benefits, opportunities, and requirements are dependent upon your organization’s size and the applicable rules. If you have at least 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees on average during the prior year, you are an Applicable Large Employer (ALE) for the current calendar year.  However, there is an exception for seasonal workers: If your workforce exceeds 50 full-time employees for 120 days or fewer during a calendar year, and the employees in excess of 50 during that period were seasonal workers, your organization is not considered an ALE. For this purpose, a seasonal worker is an employee who performs labor or services on a seasonal basis.

The terms seasonal worker and seasonal employee are both used in the employer shared responsibility provisions, but in two different contexts. Only the term seasonal worker is relevant for determining whether an employer is an ALE subject to the employer shared responsibility provisions.

For information on seasonal workers, always consult a Certified Public Accountant. Submitted by: Brian Walgamott, Director, Tax Services Department, Thomas Howell Ferguson P.A. CPAs (850) 668-8100 or bwalgamott@thf-cpa.com.

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