Part-time workers are an important part of our nation’s economy. According to data provided Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), somewhere between 25 million and 35 million people are currently employed on a part-time basis.
How many hours is part-time in California?
ANSWER: It depends.
It is difficult to get a precise number because government agencies and private organizations often use different definitions of what constitutes “part-time work”.
Under California law, workers can be classified as part-time if they work fewer than 40 hours per week. Though, employers can designate workers as full-time employees whenever they choose to do so.
Here, our experienced Los Angeles, CA wage and hour attorneys explain the most important things that you need to know about part-time hours in California.
Part-Time Hours: California
The answer to the question “what is part-time in California” depends, to some degree, on who is being asked. Some employers in our state will classify all workers who put in at least 32 hours each week as a full-time employee.
However, other companies deem all workers who average fewer than 40 hours per week as part-time employees. As a general matter, California law leaves this question in the hands of the employer.
However, the question of how many hours is part-time in CA is more complicated than that. If you work at a company with 50 or more total employees, then the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have an impact on your designation — at least for the purposes of health coverage.
The ACA defines ‘full-time’ work as 30 hours per week. If you are covered by the ACA, then your employer must either provide you with sufficient healthcare benefits or it must pay a penalty directly to the government.
Most companies in this situation choose to offer health coverage. Of course, this ACA regulation does not apply to small employers.
It should also be noted that California is one of the few states with a paid leave law on the books. For companies covered by this law, paid leave benefits to apply to all of their workers.
Part-time employees will accrue paid leave benefits under this law just the same as do full-time workers.
If you believe that you were improperly denied access to your paid leave benefits, or any other employment benefit, you should contact a California wage and hour lawyer right away.
How Does Being a Part-Time Employee in California Affect Your Legal Rights?
The rights of part-time workers must be protected. As explained by the United States Department of Labor (DOL), part-time employees are still protected by labor regulations in much the same way that full-time workers are.
For example, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) simply does not consider whether a worker is part-time or full-time.
Part-time workers are still owed a minimum wage, and, should a part-time worker be scheduled for more than 40 hours in a single week during a busy time of the year, they may be entitled to overtime pay.
To be clear, employers are under no obligation to offer part-time workers general benefits. California companies typically have the right to award benefits only to their full-time staff members.
Though, employers should treat workers fairly and consistently.
If you are a part-time worker who has been denied benefits while other similarly situated part-time workers are receiving benefits, it is possible that you have been the victim of unlawful discrimination.
To learn more about your rights and your options, you should discuss your case with an employment attorney immediately.
Speak to a Los Angeles Wage & Hour Lawyer Today
At Workplace Rights Law Group LLP, our dedicated California employment lawyers have extensive experience handling the full range of wage & hour claims.
If you have questions about part-time employment or if you believe that you were improperly denied benefits or your rights were violated, we are here to help.
To get a free, confidential review of your case, please contact our law firm today. We have offices in Riverside (directions) and Glendale (directions), and we represent employees all over Southern California.
Quick FAQ For Part-Time Employees in California
Workers can be classified as part-time if they work fewer than 40 hours per week
Employers are under no obligation to offer part-time workers general benefits.
Part-time employees will accrue paid leave benefits. California is one of the few states with a paid leave law on the books. For companies covered by this law, paid leave benefits to apply to all of their workers.