Company can determine hours for part-timers

Can They Do That?

Your Money

February 06, 2005|By Carrie Mason-Draffen

I manage a small company with five full-time employees and four part-timers.

My boss holds the part-timers' hours to no more than 15 a week because he believes more time would require him to pay benefits.

But I don't agree. When I was a corporate manager, the minimum for benefits was 20 hours a week.

I think my boss doesn't want to pay for more hours, though we need the help.

As your example shows, companies define what part time looks like. That's because federal labor laws don't address the issue.

Check with your state labor department to see if it defines part-time work.

The closest most laws come is defining overtime, which kicks in after 40 hours in one workweek for eligible employees.

By practice, full-time schedules range from 35 to 45 hours a week.

Part time can be from fewer than 40 hours on down but generally ranges around 20- something-hours and below.

So you now have a more flexible definition of part time to work with. Whatever policy you adopt, convey it to your employees quickly so they'll know what's at work in the office.

Carrie Mason-Draffen is a columnist for Newsday, a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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