Is the job full-time or part-time? This is a common question that people ask about work. If your job only requires you to work a few hours a week, it is easy to label it as part-time. But what about full-time? Many people want to land a full-time job because of the benefits and perks that companies usually offer. In this article, we will talk about full-time hours. For job seekers, this is important. What is the specific number that we can tag as “full-time hours”?
What are full-time hours?
In the United States, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not give a definite statement on the number of hours that determine if a job is full-time or part-time. This means that, while most people assume full-time hours as being 35 to 40 hours per workweek, the definition will depend on what the company policy states. Employers are responsible for determining full-time hours.
Even if the definition of full-time hours rests on the employer, there are still considerable standards that are used. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), an employee who renders paid work for at least 30 hours per week or 130 hours per month is classified as full-time. Additionally, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) defines 30 hours per week as full-time hours. This is to help in determining the employee count of employers. Under the ACA, employers with at least 50 employees are legally required to provide health insurance to all full-time employees.
What is the significance of knowing full-time hours?
If you are an employer, you are free to set your company policy on full-time hours beyond ACA requirements. This will not only avoid confusion on what is part-time and full-time but having a policy on full-time hours will also set clear responsibilities and expectations. Many employers use 35-40 hours per week as the range of full-time hours with 40 hours per week as the most common.
If you are a job seeker, it is important to know your prospective employer’s policy on full-time employment and the different benefits they provide. The benefits and incentives of many companies are often intertwined with full-time hours or full-time positions.
Although offering benefits beyond what is required by law for full-time employees is not a requisite, employers give benefits as a way to improve employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention. These are the common benefits that companies offer for full-time employees:
Paid vacation time
The benefits package for full-time employees is unique for each company. When it comes to designing perks and fringe benefits, it’s up to the employers to decide.
Aside from benefits, non-exempt employees are also entitled to overtime pay and minimum wage as per the FLSA. Overtime pay should not be less than time-and-a-half (1.5x the employee’s normal hourly wage) for non-exempt employees who worked over 40 hours in one week.
It is important to note that there are certain exceptions to the 40 hours per workweek standard in special circumstances such as police officers, firefighters in public agencies, and hospital and nursing home employees.
How about exempt employees and full-time hours?
As per the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the minimum wage requirement and overtime pay do not apply to exempt employees. Generally, exempt employees are salaried employees who are paid more than $684 fixed salary per week. Additionally, exempt employees also perform duties that require independent judgment in the executive, administrative, or professional space.
This means that the typical 40 hours per week threshold of full-time hours does not have much weight on exempt employees. Since they are not entitled to overtime pay, they can work less than or more than 40 hours per week. For as long as they get the job done, exempt employees will not be paid for overtime hours.
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