How can the company I work for schedule me for more then 40 hours a week, yet still have me as part-time so they don’t have to give me benefits?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How can the company I work for schedule me for more then 40 hours a week, yet still have me as part-time so they don’t have to give me benefits?

I work for a big grain merchandising company I work 50 hours a week at the least and during harvest months I work about 80 hours a week sometimes more I have been here about 9 months and they still have me down as part-time because part-time employees don’t get benefits like insurance, holiday pay, sick time, overtime, maternity leave or anything. I am 5 months pregnant and need benefits and they won’t change it they only do this to the women the girl before me was pregnant and had been here for 4 years and they wouldn’t give her any benefits she finally put in her notice and they fired her 2 days later. How is this legal it just doesn’t seem right?

Asked on July 9, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Kansas


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, this practice is not against the law. There is no legal definition of part-time or full-time. An employer can demand that an employee work as many hours as they wish as long as the worker paid properly for their time. That is unless such a practice violates the terms of a union agreement or employment contract. Also, it cannot not be based on any form of actionable discrimination. That means that you must not be receiving lesser treatment due to a disability, age (over 40). natinality, race, religion or gender. Since you indicate that only female part-time employees are given full-time work schedules, then you may have a claim here. At this point you can file a complaint with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) or consult directly with an employment law attorney in your area.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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