Part-Time Employees; Fewer Hours but Equal Rights

With the upcoming Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation some employers have been opting to drop a percentage of their employees to part-time status to avoid paying hefty health insurance fees for not offering coverage as they would for full time employees.

Employers should be careful not to become under the impression that part-time employees can be terminated or treated differently than full time employees. The Department of Labor does not have a distinction between the legal rights of part-time employees and those of full time staff in any condition of employment.

Why Hire Part-time Employees?

Depending on the needs of your business, there are many times to consider hiring part-time. Although part-time employees are fully protected under various employment law, more part-time employees can keep costs down by reducing the need for overtime. Other reasons to have part-time employees may include:
  • As an alternative to layoffs
  • To reduce the workload for a particular job, in a department, or during a busy season
  • To perform a specific special task that does not require full-time hours
  • As an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • To allow an employee to take intermittent leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act
  • When an employee is in school working toward an advanced degree