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What is Considered Full-Time Employment in GA? Georgia

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  • What is Considered Full-Time Employment in GA? Georgia

    I started at a job as a part-time employee one year ago in Georgia. From the start, I worked 38-44 hours a week. In Feb.'09, hours were cut to about 5 per week. I filed unemployment benefits and started receiving unemployment checks from Georgia. When my employer found out, they became enraged saying I was hired as part-time help and that I wasn't going to set a precedent by filing an unemployment claim against them.

    When I showed up to do a few hours of work one day in Feb. "09, they had a man waiting who said he was there to give a drug test. Nobody at this place has ever had to do this and only 3 of us were tested. I passed it. Next, they sent the Georgia Employment Commission a letter stating that I had refused work! I NEVER refused any of the 4-5 hours they give me a week presently. This resulted in a conference call with employer and Georgia Employment people. The employer stated in call that I was hired as part-time and I knew it.

    Several days later, a letter arrived from GA Employment Office saying they ruled against my claim, since I was part-time and the amount I had been paid in unemployment benefits would have to be paid back, unless the decided to waive it due to specific criteria. I have all my pay stubs since starting work there and almost all weeks, I worked close to or above 40 hours. What is the legal limit in GA to be considered a full-time employee? If I was hired as part-time, but worked full-time. Am I not qualified for any consideration in unemployment benefits? I smell a rat.

  • #2
    There is no legal definition of full time in GA, or in most other states. Full and part time are what the employer says they are.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      Thanks.

      "Full-time" is not defined by law. For purposes of overtime ONLY, all 40 hours means is that anything worked in excess of that by nonexempt employees (with limited exceptions, which we won't get into here) must be paid overtime pay at 1.5 times their regular rate of pay.

      For benefits purposes, "full-time" is whatever the plan document says it is and the definition can be different for different benefits.

      Your employer is an idiot. That's what unemployment benefits are for; if you hadn't been financially eligible, you wouldn't have gotten benefits to start with. I would appeal. It could be argued that, even though you were hired for "part-time", you had worked between 38-44 hours per week for a year; it's the first thing I would argue.

      I can't speak to the drug test issue, as that is not my area of expertise.
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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      • #4
        The employer has never let me go, though they seem to be trying to find a way to fire me by hoping that I would fail the drug test (which I didn't) and by injecting the refusal to work issue (which I didn't refuse, I NEED WORK-ANY)

        I had a witness on hand during the teleconference with the GA Employment people and my employer, who was present when my employer vaguely planned a 4 hour job he would give me "when the weather warmed". My employer also says he had a witness that I refused work, but it never got to that during conference. They told me to tell my witness to leave the room I was in for the duration of call.

        I'm not asking them for any benefits their full-time people get. I can't make it on 5 hrs. a week. I only want help from state unemployment as I frantically try to find another job. I've looked and applied everywhere. Oddly, I'm still employed by them, and they will throw another 4-5 hours to me next week. Any where I apply to for a job calls for references from this employer who might be telling them ANYTHING. I'm a good employee, with no blemishes on my record, especially there.

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        • #5
          That's why I'd appeal the decision. Can't hurt to try.
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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          • #6
            Thanks to people who volunteer their time and effort to help others with these complex issues!! I'll appeal or file a new claim, or something.

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            • #7
              An existing claim is open (though maybe inactive) for a year. You can't file a new claim until the old one has been closed.

              I'd appeal on the grounds that, based on your work history from date of hire to just recently, your work schedule was NOT that of a "part-time" employee, no matter what they hired you as.
              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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