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What counts as ‘full time’ under federal law?

by on
in Employment Law,Human Resources

Q. We mostly have 40-hours-a-week employees, plus a couple of 20-hour part-timers. One part-timer asked me what constitutes “full time.” I think she wants to work the minimum and still receive benefits. Is there a set cutoff for full-time work? — C.B., Texas

No. Employers are free to define full time and part time however they see fit. Many people think of full time as 40 hours per week because 40 hours is the threshold for overtime pay under the FLSA. No law, however, requires full time to be set at 40 hours or any other amount.

However, it’s important that you clearly define the terms in your employee handbook. In addition, any other documents that control benefits based on employment status should mirror the same eligibility requirements under the law.

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