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What are the penalties for me, as an employer, if I don’t provide health benefits to my seasonal workers?

If you are a large employer, you will face a penalty if you do not offer affordable coverage that meets minimum value to all of your full-time employees and their dependent children. If, as an employer, you’re unsure whether or not your seasonal workers are full-time employees, you can use a special measurement period (a three- to twelve-month look back, at your discretion) to decide if your employees are in fact seasonal or full-time. During this measurement period, you don’t have to offer coverage, but if it turns out an employee did work full-time during that measurement period, you must treat that employee as full time during a subsequent “stability” period (which must be the longer of six months or the length of the measurement period that you chose) and offer that worker health benefits regardless of their actual hours worked during the stability period. Full-time means the employee worked on average 30 hours a week over the measurement period.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.