Part-Time Employees: What you need to know

There is no federal law that defines the term “part time” or specifies the number of hours an employee must work per week to be considered part-time as opposed to full-time. Many employers classify part-time employees as those who regularly work fewer than 30 hours per week. It is up to employers to determine what definition of part-time best suits their objectives. Part-time hours can be scheduled in a variety of ways. For example, working one-half day every day, 2 or 3 full days each week, 1 full week on and then 1 week off, or combinations of these approaches can be considered part-time.
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There are many reasons an employer might consider hiring part-time employees. In fact, depending on the needs of a particular business, the options for using part-time employees are virtually endless. Some employees simply cannot work full-time because of child care, school, medical, or other reasons and will be able to continue to work only if part-time schedules are offered. Employers can, in fact, attract skilled workers by offering part-time schedules to those who cannot work full-time and retain valuable employees who might otherwise leave their jobs for similar concerns. Hiring part-time employees can keep costs down by reducing the need for overtime and by paying fewer benefits. Companies might use part-time employees in these situations:
• As an alternative to layoffs
• To reduce the workload for a particular job, in a department, or during a busy season
• To perform a specific special task that does not require full-time hours
• When a disability makes it difficult for a particular employee to work full-time
• As an accommodation under the Americans with ...

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