Is it legal for an employer to hire you as a full-time worker and not pay any benefits just an hourly wage?

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Is it legal for an employer to hire you as a full-time worker and not pay any benefits just an hourly wage?

Asked on December 29, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is, unforturnately, completely legal, with the exception discussed below. The law does not require companies to provide any benefits whatsoever--they are free to compensate employees, whether full or part time, with wages only.

The exception is that if other full-time employees receive benefits, then it *might* be illegal to not provide them to you--it could be a violation of certain laws relating to the benefits themselves (e.g. health insurance, pensions) and/or might be a violation of employment discrimination law, if you are being treated differently due to a protected characteristic, such as race, religion, sex, age over 40, disability, etc. If other full-time employees receive benefits, you may wish to consult with an employment attorney to see if  you have a legal claim.


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