What do I do if I work full-timebut my employer refuses togive me benefits?

UPDATED: Apr 19, 2011

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What do I do if I work full-timebut my employer refuses togive me benefits?

I have been at the job for a year and 2 months. I started at part-time but now, and for about the past 6 months, been working an average 45 hours a week. Am I entitled to these benefits? If so, can my employer push me back to part-time hours if I take any action?

Asked on April 19, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that there is no legal definition of "full-time" versus "part- time".  The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not define either  full-time employment or part-time employment.  This is a matter to be determined by the employer.  This means that an employer can set its own definition for what just what part-time means.  So while traditionally, the 40-hour mark is considered to be full-time, it could be classified as part-time. And vice versa, an employee could work 32 hours per week and be classified as being a full-time employee.  Bottom line, such classifications are at your employer's discretion.  The only exceptions to this would be if there is a stated company policy covering this, or there is a union/employment agreement that governs, or this situation has arisen due to some type of discrimination.

Note:  If you're a non-exempt employee, you must be paid for all hours worked whatever they are classified to be; hours over 40, if any, must be paid as overtime.

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