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How many hours is full-time employment? How many hours is part-time employment?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not define full-time employment or part-time employment. This is a matter generally to be determined by the employer. Whether an employee is considered full-time or part-time does not change the application of the FLSA.
As a general standard, most employers consider full-time to be 40 or more hours per week, since that is the point beyond which nonexempt employees must be paid overtime. However, if a part-time employee happens to work more than 40 hours, that employee would also be entitled to overtime.
Employers may also establish different standards for purposes of internal benefits. For example, an employer might define full-time as employees who regularly work 36 or more hours per week, and allow such employees to accrue vacation hours, whereas part-time employees do not earn vacation (or have a different accrual rate). Since the FLSA does not address or require vacation, however, it would not impact these definitions.
The Affordable Care Act requires employers to offer health coverage to full-time employees, defined by this law as employees working 30 or more hours per week. However, this does not mean that employees get overtime after 30 hours, nor does this law impact other employer obligations (such as vacation accrual policies).