Question: How many hours worked per week is considered full-time employment, and how many for part-time?
Answer: Full-time and part-time status is set by the individual company, not a law. There is no legal or universal definition for full-time or part-time employment.
Employers choose how many hours an employee must work to be considered full-time or part-time. Typically an organization will classify their full-time staff as working between 30-40 hours per week, while part-time employment is usually less than 30 hours per week.
Whether an employee is considered full-time or part-time does not change the application of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which states that an employer must pay non-exempt employees overtime when hours worked exceed 40 in the workweek. This is a minimum threshold for overtime and does not determine status or fringe benefits.
An exception is the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which identifies workers eligible for coverage as “full-time,” defined as working over 30 hours per week. According to the IRS, for ACA purposes, “A full-time employee is, for a calendar month, an employee employed on average at least 30 hours of service per week, or 130 hours of service per month.” Read more about this.
Your employee handbook should define full-time and part-time classifications to distinguish which benefits are available to full and part-timers. Generally, part-time personnel are not eligible for benefits such as non-mandated paid time off, health coverage and retirement plans.
Time tracking software can help you track hours for benefits and ACA eligibility. Balance Point’s solution does a great job with this.
Take a More Balanced Approach to HR with BPHR
The laws governing employee time and benefit eligibility can be tricky. Don’t tackle it alone. With BPHR, an HR Generalist will help guide you in adherence to the law so you can spend more time on strategic efforts. Schedule your free phone consultation to learn how your organization can benefit from BPHR.
DISCLAIMER: The material presented on this page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or legal opinion.