Definition of a Part Time Employee in California

by Cathy O'Brien; Updated September 26, 2017
Part-time employees in California work 25 hours or less per week.

Part-time employees in California enjoy the flexibility of part-time hours while having the opportunity to work alongside full-time workers. Employees who choose to work part-time do not have access to the same amount of benefits as full-time employees. The lack of medical insurance can outweigh the benefits of working part-time for employees who want to gain valuable work experience for future full-time employment.

Identification

Part-time employees in the state of California are defined as workers who actually work 25 hours or less per week. Companies may schedule a part-time employee for any amount of hours in a given week, based on the needs of the business. Although a part-time employee may be scheduled for 10 hours during one week, for example, that employee could end up working more or less hours based on the company's workload.

Function

Companies employ part-time employees in order to help alleviate fluctuations in workloads or in order to avoid paying benefits to full-time employees. Part-time employees who work alongside full-time employees are doing the same type of work and have the same expectations as full-time employees. Companies who employ the majority of workers as part-time, such as restaurants, have large fluctuations in workloads due to the nature of their business, and cannot support having a full workforce employed for 40 hours per week.

Features

Part-time employees enjoy the flexibility of working 25 hours or less each week. This allows more time for part-time employees in California to pursue their own interests such as hobbies, other work and increased family time. Part-time employees in California are eligible for unemployment benefits if they suddenly lose their job or quit for personal reasons. Employees who work part-time are gaining valuable work experience that can be used to find full-time employment in the future.

Employees working part-time in California are eligible for family leave benefits after earning a minimum of $300 from their employer. This means a part-time employee can earn reduced wage benefits while on family leave--based on the number of hours per week that the employee was hired to work.

Considerations

Employees who work part-time in California are bound by the same performance standards as employees who work full-time hours. Periodic performance reviews, which rate an employee’s quality of work, work ethic, attitude and attendance, can affect whether or not a part-time employee is eligible for a raise or promotion. If a part-time employee is fired due to poor performance or laid off, that employee will only receive unpaid vacation hours upon termination. Part-time employees do not qualify for severance pay.

Warning

Part-time employees in the State of California are not entitled to receive medical, dental and vision benefits from their employer under the FMLA or Family and Medical Leave Act. This means when a part-time employee needs medical, dental and vision insurance coverage, that employee will need to find and pay for private insurance.

Part-time employees in California are eligible for sick pay, provided they work for a minimum of 30 hours in a year. Sick pay is accrued at a rate of 1 hour per 30 hours worked, but employers can limit the sick pay benefit to three days (24 hours) in a given year.

About the Author

Cathy O'Brien is a San Francisco/Bay Area native. She has 15 years of experience writing corporate training materials. Her corporate background is in human resources, sales, management and high-tech start-ups. O'Brien has published business and fashion articles on eHow and Answerbag. She earned her Master of Business Administration from Dominican University and her Bachelor of Arts in English/writing from the University of San Francisco.

Photo Credits

  • Asian business woman image by huaxiadragon from Fotolia.com