Part-time employees are an integral part of the workforce in Southern California, contributing significantly across various industries. Despite working fewer hours than their full-time counterparts, part-time workers are entitled to many of the same legal protections under employment law.

At PLBH, we are dedicated to ensuring that all workers, regardless of their employment status, understand their rights and receive fair treatment. This blog explores the key rights of part-time employees and provides guidance on how these workers can protect themselves in the workplace. Contact us at (800) 435-7542 if you require a legal consultation from an employment law attorney.

Equal Treatment for Part-Time Employees

Part-time workers should be aware of their rights to equal treatment compared to full-time employees.

Key Rights Include:

  • Wages: Part-time employees must be paid at least the minimum wage, and they are entitled to the same rate of pay as full-time employees performing the same work, unless differences can be justified by factors other than the number of hours worked.
  • Overtime: In California, part-time workers are eligible for overtime pay under the same conditions as full-time employees, typically after working more than 8 hours in a single day or 40 hours in a week.
  • Breaks and Rest Periods: Part-time workers have the same rights to meal and rest breaks as full-time employees. This includes a 10-minute paid rest break for every 4 hours worked and a 30-minute meal break for shifts over 5 hours.

Anti-Discrimination Laws

Part-time workers are protected under federal and state anti-discrimination laws.

Protection Coverage:

  • Discrimination and Harassment: Part-time employees are protected from discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (40 or older), disability, and genetic information.
  • Retaliation: Employers are prohibited from retaliating against part-time workers who complain about discrimination, participate in an investigation, or oppose illegal employment practices.

Benefits and Job Security

While part-time employees may not always be eligible for the same level of benefits as full-time employees, certain protections still apply.

Important Considerations:

  • Health Insurance: Under the Affordable Care Act, employers with 50 or more full-time employees must offer health insurance to full-time employees, but this may not extend to part-time workers. However, discrimination in benefits offered between part-time and full-time employees must not be based on hours worked alone.
  • Unemployment Benefits: Part-time workers may be eligible for unemployment benefits if they lose their job through no fault of their own, depending on the total hours worked and earnings during the base period.

Family and Medical Leave

Part-time employees in California might be eligible for family and medical leave under certain conditions.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • California Family Rights Act (CFRA): Part-time employees may qualify for unpaid leave under the CFRA to care for a family member or for their own medical needs if they have worked more than 1,250 hours in the 12 months prior to the leave.

Practical Steps for Protecting Your Rights

How Part-Time Workers Can Ensure Fair Treatment:

  • Document Everything: Keep detailed records of hours worked, wages received, and any instances of discrimination or unfair treatment.
  • Know Your Contract: Understand the terms of your employment contract, which should clearly outline your rights and responsibilities.
  • Seek Legal Advice: If you suspect your rights are being violated, consult with an employment law attorney to discuss your options.

How PLBH Can Help

At PLBH, we believe in the fair treatment of all employees, including those who work part-time. If you are a part-time worker and feel that your rights have been violated, or if you need guidance on employment matters, do not hesitate to contact us at (800) 435-7542. Our team of experienced employment law attorneys is ready to help you understand your rights and ensure that you are treated fairly in the workplace.