Does an employer need to treat 32 hour a week full-time employees the same as 40 hour a week employees?

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Does an employer need to treat 32 hour a week full-time employees the same as 40 hour a week employees?

My employer considers employees that work at least 30 hours per week eligible for medical benefits but the employer states that only employees that work 40 hours per week are eligible for vacation and holiday pay? I recently changed to a 32 hour work week from 40 so I am no longer getting vacation or holiday pay. Can they do this or must they give me all the same as the 40 hour employees as they are offering medical benefits at 30 hours?

Asked on October 10, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that most employment is "at will". This means that their company can set the conditions of employment much as they see fit. This inlcudes who does and doesn't receive vacation and/or holiday pay. Under the law, an employer is not mandated to provide such time to workers, so the the extent that is chooses to do so, it has a great deal of discretion as to who is or isn't eligible for such time. Accordingly, unless this acton violates the terms of an employment contract/union agreement you have no claim. Also, it would be illegal if it constitutes some form of actionable discrimination. Therefore, unless an employee receives lesser treatment based solely on their race, religion, gender, age (over 40), disability or nationality, they do not all need to be treated the same.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that most employment is "at will". This means that their company can set the conditions of employment much as they see fit. This inlcudes who does and doesn't receive vacation and/or holiday pay. Under the law, an employer is not mandated to provide such time to workers, so the the extent that is chooses to do so, it has a great deal of discretion as to who is or isn't eligible for such time. Accordingly, unless this acton violates the terms of an employment contract/union agreement you have no claim. Also, it would be illegal if it constitutes some form of actionable discrimination. Therefore, unless an employee receives lesser treatment based solely on their race, religion, gender, age (over 40), disability or nationality, they do not all need to be treated the same.


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