J. J. Keller® Compliance Network Logo
Start Experiencing Compliance Network for Free!
Update to Professional Trial!

Be Part of the Ultimate Safety & Compliance Community

Trending news, knowledge-building content, and more – all personalized to you!

Already have an account?
Thank you for investing in EnvironmentalHazmat related content. Click 'UPGRADE' to continue.
Enjoy your limited-time access to the Compliance Network Professional Trial!
A confirmation welcome email has been sent to your email address from ComplianceNetwork@t.jjkellercompliancenetwork.com. Please check your spam/junk folder if you can't find it in your inbox.
Thank you for your interest in EnvironmentalHazmat related content.
You've reached your limit of free access, if you'd like more info, please contact us at 800-327-6868.
What is part-time employment?
  • How an employee is classified is often at the employer’s discretion.
  • Part-time workers sometimes work longer hours.

Should a position be classified as part time? For the most part, state and federal laws only define an employee as a person “employed by an employer.” Otherwise, there aren’t any legal definitions to these terms. Employers may include them in the handbook, but the extent to which employee classifications should be mentioned really depends on how the company defines those categories, and whether they are or are not eligible for certain benefits.

The number of hours worked by an employee is generally at the employer’s discretion, and the company can determine whether to classify someone as full time or part time. Often, these distinctions are used by employers to determine eligibility for discretionary benefits, and there is no maximum or minimum number of hours that employers are required to apply. The number of hours an employee will be expected to work is a matter to be worked out by the company. A full-time employee might be expected to work five eight-hour days a week, and anyone who is regularly scheduled for fewer hours could be deemed part time.

In some cases, part-time employees will end up working longer hours (even overtime) for several weeks, or even several months. However, there is no obligation to consider them full time during that period. If the expected working hours over the course of a year still support the part-time status, the employee can remain classified as part time, even while working overtime. However, if the company expects the extended schedule to continue for a considerable amount of time, it should consider reclassifying the employee as full time.