CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) -

Officials in Cedar Falls will reduce the hours of dozens of part-time city employees to avoid offering them health insurance.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported Wednesday that Cedar Falls Administrative Services Director Richard McAlister says the reduction in hours for 59 workers is necessary because if all of them opted for insurance required under the new federal health care law, the city could face an additional $855,000 annual cost. McAlister says that would require employee layoffs.

The part-time employees aren't now eligible for health insurance, but the new federal law will require employers to offer insurance to part-timers working 30 hours or more. The city can avoid the requirement by cutting part-timers' hours from 32 to 29 hours a week.