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Is there a limit?

Question: How many hours can I assign to a part-time employee? Is there a limit?

Answer from Sergio, SHRM-CP: There’s no limit per se, but there are few factors you might want to consider:

  • If the employee was looking for a part-time job when you hired them (and didn’t settle for fewer hours than desired), you may get pushback if you assign more hours than they bargained for on a regular basis.

  • Under certain laws, as well as insurance and retirement plans, benefits kick in when an employee hits a certain number of hours per week, regardless of how you classify them. For example, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) considers employees full time at 30 or more hours per week.

  • If you regularly assign an employee a full-time schedule while continuing to classify them as “part time”—and full-time employees receive additional benefits, such as paid time off—the employee could argue they’re being treated unfairly or even in a way that amounts to employment discrimination.

This Q&A does not constitute legal advice and does not address state or local law.

Sergio has over a decade of customer service experience including non-profit, food service, and hotel management. He graduated from Portland State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Leadership. In his free time Sergio loves physical fitness, spending time with family, and travelling.

Legal Disclaimer: On-Time Payroll is not engaged in the practice of law. The content in this post should not be construed as legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you have legal questions concerning your situation or the information you have obtained, you should consult with a licensed attorney. OTP cannot be held legally accountable for actions related to its receipt.


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