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ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Can my employer legally do this? (see details)

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (11910points) May 3rd, 2010 from iPhone

I was hired as a part time employee. I let them know before I was hired that I would like to keep my hours to a minimum (around 20 hours a week). Next week I’m on the schedule for 35 hours. Is this still considered part time? That’s almost 40 hours! I have a feeling that they’re trying to get me as close to 40 as possible so that they don’t have to give me full time benefits (health insurance, life insurance, vacation time, etc). Is this legal? It’s very frustrating. If I wanted to work 35 hours a week I would have asked for a full time position!

Note: I live in NY state, if that matters.

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11 Answers

marinelife's avatar

It is still part time. Your employer can schedule you any number of hours that they want to.

Have you asked them about whether this is a one-time thing? Perhaps vacation coverage?

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@marinelife It might have something to do with mother’s day coming up. I know we get really busy this time of year.

marinelife's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 I would clarify with your employer what the situation is, remind them of your desired hours, but say you are willing to help out when needed.

Fernspider's avatar

Did you sign an employment contract? If so, did it stipulate the number of hours you were to work?

There could be a clause which says something to the effect of “The employee agrees to work additional hours from time to time when needed or outside of the terms of their job description.” This is licence to change things up to their liking from time to time.

njnyjobs's avatar

. . . anything under 40 hours per week can be considered as part-time work, especially if the number of hours per week your position may require one to work fluctuates with Seasonality.

liminal's avatar

The law lets employers decide the parameters for full-time and part-time employment. The law states that over-time needs to kick in after 40 hours.

It is not uncommon for employers to hire part-time employees to avoid paying over-time and full-time benefits.

KatawaGrey's avatar

If your company considers anything less than 40 hours a week part time and you are a part time employee, then yes, your employer can legally schedule for 35 hours a week. I used to work at a company where full time benefits came at 30 hours a week and my manager would regularly schedule me for 29½ hours a week. It was infuriating.

I would ask your manager about this is it continues after mother’s day. It may honestly be that it is a busy time and they need all the help they can get.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I’ve worked for a company that did the same thing you are talking about. They hired me part-time then worked me as close to 40 as they could get without giving me benefits. To make matters worse they were very nasty if I asked for hour changes. I needed the job so I stuck with it for a couple of years. I was young. If I knew better I would have just got myself a better job. I suggest you start looking elsewhere if a sit-down with them doesn’t solve the problem.

unique's avatar

labor laws vary state-to-state…

DocteurAville's avatar

This stuff is going down right now because employers want to squeeze people —as they think they have got the cheese and the knife altogether. Welcome to the real world of the recession or post-recession or whatever they are calling it right now…

If you really need the job, stick to it. I think you will not be able to squeeze them back as they have done their home work and, although I am unaware of the laws that govern this, they will not be held accountable…

If you can let go the job, give them your sentence and if need be, give’m a big finger! I would do the latter.

Nullo's avatar

Nothing that isn’t in writing is binding.

If you can’t work the hours, go back to the boss and tell him your reasons. You may be faced with a choice: leave work, or change your schedule.

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