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What Is Considered Full Time In California

California has so many different nuanced laws that apply to various different categories of employees. But, in order to understand what type of rights you may have as an employee, it is first important to determine what type of employee you are. For example, there are different laws that apply to full-time employees than to part-time employees.

 But, even the definition of full-time and part-time employees could get a bit tricky to differentiate. No matter what type of employee you are, there are specific rights that you may have that no employer should take advantage of. If you feel as though your employer has treated you unjustly at work, give us a call today to discuss the next options you could take. 

A case evaluation is a great way to discuss your potential lawsuit with our top-rated employment lawyers. Our employment lawyers have been representing both full-time and part-time employees for several decades now for various different lawsuits, including retaliation, workplace harassment, workplace discrimination, wrongful termination, and many more.

There are a few differences between full-time and part-time employees in California, and to better understand whether you qualify for any of the below-mentioned benefits and rights, contact our employment attorneys today.

full time job folder red

What happens during your one-on-one case evaluation?

 A complimentary case evaluation is a great way of getting to know our attorneys and the experience they have had with cases similar to yours. It is a great way of getting to know the attorney’s reputation, expertise, and skill when it comes to your specific case. Being comfortable with your attorney and able to discuss your case freely and openly should be one of your highest priorities.

What is considered a full-time employee?

  •  At first, a full-time employee was known to be an employee who worked 40 hours a week. But, recently, in California, the Affordable Care Act reduced the categories of full-time employee hours from 40 hours to 30 hours when it comes to when healthcare should be offered to an employee.
  •  This means that under the Affordable Care Act, an employee still qualifies for healthcare and is considered full-time even though they work 30 hours a week. But, besides the Affordable Care Act, the definition of a full-time employee is still flexible and open to interpretation by the employer.
  • This means that employers cannot deny an employee insurance under the Affordable Care Act if they are employed for 30 hours a week, or 130 hours a month.

What is left to the discretion of employers?

 When it comes to benefits such as overtime pay, pension, medical, disability insurance, and life insurance, employers are allowed to decide the category of hours that qualify as full-time and part-time employees. For example, an employer could make 39 hours part-time, and 40 hours full-time. However, for purposes of the Affordable Care Act, employees who work more than 30 hours qualify for healthcare. 

Why should I hire an employment attorney in California?

 Many employees have strong claims against their employers, whether it is for workplace harassment, discrimination, retaliation, etc. But, oftentimes, it is very difficult to get enough evidence to build a strong claim. For example, if you have a claim against your employer for discrimination, you must show the basis for the retaliation by your employer. This means that you have to prove that your employer discriminated against you. This could be very difficult to find proof directly. That is where our attorneys step in. Our employment attorneys conduct investigations and review company contracts, policies, communications among employees, and employee performance reports to determine the basis of workplace harassment or retaliation claims. We want to make sure that we have strong evidence in your favor since the burden of proof is on the employee instead of the employer. 

What rights do full-time employees qualify for?

Overtime Pay

 Overtime pay occurs when an employee is paid time and a half their regular rate for every extra hour they work over 40 hours a week. However, to qualify for overtime pay, the employee must have worked 8 hours in one day of the week and 40 hours in a work week, or six consecutive work days in a single work week.

Minimum Wage

 A minimum wage is a standard wage set by the state that establishes the lowest pay an employee could receive. As of January 1, 2024, the minimum wage in California is $16 per hour. This means that if an employee is full-time, they could earn $33,280 in a single year. Full-time employees are eligible to receive minimum wage. 

part time job and clock

What is a part-time employee in California?

 There is no single definition of what a part-time employee is. Instead, there’s a lot more emphasis on full-time employees since full-time employees qualify for more benefits. Part-time employees are categorized and defined by employers themselves. But, according to the California Employment Development Department, part-time work is considered work that is less than 35 hours a week. There are sometimes issues with misclassifications at work. For example, employees may get hired on a part-time basis, but their employers may require them to work full-time, or  40 hours a week. This is a very common business practice that employers take part in that is considered illegal. 

If I am a full-time employee, can my employer cut my hours?

 It is considered illegal for an employer to reduce your hours after you have been hired as a full-time employee if you have an employment contract. But, if you do not have an employment contract, it is more likely that your employer has the basis to reduce your hours. If you believe you have an employment contract, and your employer still reduced your hours, give us a call today to discuss. 

What if I work 40 hours a week and are not granted any rights?

 If you work 40 hours a week and have not been afforded any rights at work, including vacation time, overtime, insurance, etc., you may have a right to file a lawsuit against your employer. For more information, schedule a one-on-one meeting with our top-rated legal team. We can hold case consultations in person, via phone, or through video chat depending on your preferences. We always want to make sure that we are easily accessible to our clients, and have constant straightforward communication so we could represent our clients to the fullest extent possible. 

What should I do to prevent workplace misclassification in California?

  •  Before signing an employment contract, make sure you understand whether you are a full-time or a part-time employee.
  •  Before signing a contract, make sure you understand the benefits that your employment qualifies for.

Employment Attorneys Near Me

Our top rated attorneys can help determine what type of employee you are and what your employment status is. After we determine your employer status, we could also determine the rights and qualifications that you may have. 

Call us today to see how we can help with your employment case or question. Oftentimes, many employees don’t even know that they have a valid workplace claim against their employer until after the fact. No employee should be denied rights or health care eligibility.

*** Disclaimer: This page, created by Heidari Law Group, is intended for educational purposes only and provides a broad overview of legal principles. It should not be considered specific legal advice. Your use of this site and review of this material does not establish an attorney-client relationship with Heidari Law or any of its members. Laws are subject to change, and therefore some information presented here may not reflect current legal standards. All logos and images on this site are the property of their respective owners and are used only for illustrative purposes; their presence does not indicate endorsement or affiliation. Please respect the copyright restrictions of these images and logos. If you have concerns about copyright infringement or require proper attribution, contact us immediately. We are committed to honoring intellectual property rights and will respond promptly to any issues.

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Sam Heidari

Sam Ryan Heidari

Sam Heidari is the founding principal of Heidari Law Group, a law firm specializing in personal injury, wrongful death, and employment law with offices in California and Nevada. Sam Heidari has been practicing law for over 11 years and handles a wide range of cases including car accidents, wrongful death, employment discrimination, and product liability. The Heidari Law Group legal firm is known for its comprehensive approach, handling cases from initial consultation through to final judgment. Sam Heidari is dedicated to community involvement and advocacy for civil liberties.

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