In New Jersey, businesses are able to establish the differences between part- and full-time employees in terms of benefits and pay. However, companies must set the differences according to the requirements of state and federal laws. Swartz Swidler can explain the laws that govern part- and full-time work.
What are full-time workers?
While full-time work has been traditionally defined as 40 hours in a week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics defines full-time work as working 35 or more hours each week. However, this is only for statistical purposes and does not carry the weight of law. Under the Affordable Care Act, full-time workers are those who average a minimum of 30 hours per week for purposes of health benefits. The Fair Labor Standards Act does not define the requirements for full-time workers.
Difference between full-time workers and full-time equivalents
The Affordable Care Act requires employers to calculate full-time equivalents, which involves calculating the percentages that the part-time employees work as compared to full-time workers. Employers that have 50 or more full-time equivalents will be penalized if they do not provide employer-paid health plans.
Part-time employees are workers who do not work full time for their employers. Employers are able to designate certain types of employees or jobs as part-time.
Part-time workers can be paid by the hour and at different rates. However, employers who discriminate by making all employees of a certain protected class part-time may be in violation of anti-discrimination laws.
Why the designation of full-time worker status is important
The designation of full-time worker status is important because part-time workers usually do not receive the following types of benefits that full-time workers might, including the following:
- Paid time off
- Employer retirement plans
- Employer-provided health plans
Many employers include information about full- and part-time employment in their employee handbooks. This information might define the types of jobs that are part-time and the benefits that full-time workers receive as compared to part-time workers. Employers are required to withhold payroll taxes regardless of whether the workers are full-time or part-time.
Talk to an experienced employment law attorney
If you have questions about whether you should be paid benefits but are designated as a part-time employee, you might want to talk to an experienced employment lawyer. Call Swartz Swidler today to schedule an appointment.