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Faye Lee
Faye Lee, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Have 30 years experience in labor/employment law.
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I work 30 hours per week. The employee handbook defines ...

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I work 30 hours per week. The employee handbook defines this as Full-Time, thereby entitling me to Full-Time benefits (PTO, health coverage, holiday pay, etc.). My employer is denying me full-time benefits because he views me as a part-time employee. Is this legal?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Faye Lee replied 8 years ago.

Hello, Many employers attempt to keep employees at part time to reduce benefit cost, however when employees average 30 or more hours of work in previous 13 weeks they maybe deemed full time by definition of the wage guidelines.. You may want to check with your H/R person first but if that fails contact the US labor dept/Wage Division and file a complaint. Have all documentation to support at least your past 13 weeks of hours worked. You also want to have a copy of the Handbook. Hours worked over 3o are classified as fulltime I hope this has helped if so click accept.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
So if I can prove, based on hours worked for the past 13+ weeks that I am over 30 hrs/week (i.e., full-time), I cannot be denied benefits if they are being offered to other full-time employees. Correct?
Expert:  Faye Lee replied 8 years ago.

Please recognize the 13 weeks is used just to determine periodically what employees are eligible for benefits. You should not be denied benefits based upon 30 hours worked in the past 13 weeks and if your hours are consistent. If they look at your last 13 weeks and you are working an average of 32 hours you should be eligible for benefits but say you work an average of 28 hours but worked some weeks 30 hours then you would not be eligible. You cannot just work a few weeks 30 hours and then changed to fulltime, it must be consistent and for a period of time.

The 13 weeks is just an indicator, you should ask your H/R person what rule do they use to determine when parttime employees are no longer parttime employee but fulltime employees. They may use another factor, but employers should not have employees working as parttime employees when in deed they are fulltime. But talk to your H/R person because you have a policy that states that you are eligible., you will need to know when you are eligible. You are not eligible just because you worked 30 hours for a few weeks. Your hours must be consistent for at least 30 hours.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks for the information. I consistently work a minimum of 30 hours because that is what I was hired to do. My average is 31.5 hours per week, with each week always at a 30 hour minimum. I am at a complete loss as to how they cannot classify me as fulltime when I clearly am such as per the employee handbook. Is it an ERISA violation for them to deny me benefits when the benefits are offered to all other employees who work 30 or more hours per week?
Expert:  Faye Lee replied 8 years ago.

Hello, First your employer has a published policy that states if you work 30 hours you are eligible for benefits, so to refuse you the benefits when other employees working the same hours are receiving such benefits is unfair. and violates their own policy

.I referenced US Labor Dept but that is in error it should be your state labor dept. that you should seek to a resolution. Under Fair Labor Standards the state/ employer can define what they feel is fulltime. However they should not allow some employee fulltime status and denie other employees when they are working the same hours. The benefit plans should not be discriminatory and must pass discriminatory test to ensure the plan is not discriminatory .You are being treated with disparity

. But I would think that you H/R person can discuss and determine the reason and correct. Before you file any form of a complaint wait to see what H/R says. This appears something that could easy be corrected. The employer has this written policy and should ensure all employees are treated equally under the policy.

Expert:  Faye Lee replied 8 years ago.
Here is an erisa I really would need to know more about your policy and how it is applied to determine if an erisa violation.

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