The United States Senate began debate on its health care reform bill on Nov. 30. The National Restaurant Association (NRA) has asked Congress to support five key provisions it says are vital to the restaurant industry. The provisions are: a part-time worker exemption; a robust small business exemption; a 90-day waiting period for new hires; modifying the definition of full-time employee to 390 hours per quarter instead of the current 30 hours per week; and preserving the Employee Retirement Income Security Act framework, which allows employers to offer competitive and more affordable coverage with help from the financial and administrative savings permitted by this national standard.

Chefs and restaurant operators are encouraged to contact their senators and ask them to support these five provisions and let them know what this proposed legislation means to their businesses. Visit for industry facts and the NRA's analysis of the bill.