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My workers are seasonal employees. Do I count them in determining whether I am a large employer?

In general, an employer is considered a “large” employer for the purposes of the Affordable Care Act if the employer has more than 50 full-time-equivalent workers per year. Seasonal workers do count among your full-time employees unless your business qualifies for the seasonal worker exemption. The seasonal worker exemption applies if: a) you had more than 50 employees for fewer than 120 days, and b) during the 120 period you would have had fewer than 50 employees if you excluded your seasonal workers. The 120 days (or 4 months) do not need to be consecutive. For example, Farm A has 30 full-time, year round employees, and hires 25 workers to work 50 hours per week during a 2-month planting season in the winter, and then invites the same crew back for a 3-month harvest season in the fall. Farm A is a “large” employer because the Farm employs more than 50 full-time workers for more than 120 days.

Farm B has 30 full-time, year round employees, and hires 25 workers to work 50 hours per week during a 3 month harvest only. This employer is a “small” employer because the number of full-time employees exceeded 50 during a period that is less than 120 days, and during that time the seasonal worker exemption applies, because after excluding the seasonal employees you had fewer than 50 full-time workers.

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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.