Thank you for the information and your question. Generally employers have discretion when structuring their benefits plans and are able to make distinctions among employee populations regarding access to and the level of benefits offered. Plans, including health plans, may differ among employees only on “bona fide employment-based classifications” consistent with the employer’s usual business practice. For example, part-time and full-time employees, employees working in different geographic locations, and employees with different dates of hire or lengths of service can be treated as different groups of similarly situated individuals.
So, although it is conceivable that some, but not all, part-time employees might be offered health plan benefits, the employer must be able to identify a "bona-fide employment-based" reason for only offering that one part-time employee benefits. If they can't, then they can face substantiated discrimination claims. For example, if this part-time employee is the only part-timer that works in administration, then the employer could say that all administrative staff are eligible for health insurance, whether full-time or not. However, if this part-time employee is not in a unique position from other part-time employees, providing them with benefits would subject the Company to discrimination complaints.
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