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Question about full-time employment? Any information would help.

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  • Question about full-time employment? Any information would help.

    I live in Michigan and work for a company as a "part-time" employee. I have been putting in 43-55 hrs /week for over 3 years now which is the same or more than all the full-time employees work at this company. Are they within the law to still have me as a part-time employee? Are they allowed to deny me the same things the full-time employees get when I do the same job and work just as many hours? I obviously don't want to cause problems where I work.. but it seems wrong to me and the few people I've asked as friends of mine.

  • #2
    Assuming that we are talking about private sector employers, this is not normally the sort of thing that government externally gets involved with. However there are some potential issues that might affect you.
    - Overtime is hours worked past 40 in the workweek, unless the employee is formally Exempt from overtime under the federal FLSA law. The feds do not care even a little bit about "part time" so the employer saying that you are part time in no way (by itself) makes overtime go away.
    - There is a federal law called ERISA which effects certain benefits (retirement plans including 401(k) and medical plan) but generally no other benefits. ERISA level benefits only require a mandatory written plan and that the employer follows the exact wording of their plan to the letter and that the employer provide copies of the Summary Plan Documents to any employee who asks. This effects ERISA-level benefits only. The feds mostly do not care about other types of benefits.

    Past that, you can try looking at the company policy manuals and you can try taking a copy to a local attorney for review but point in fact, most policy manuals do not rise to the level of a legally enforcable contract. And there are no general rules (federal or MI) that say part time employees become non-part time employees if certain conditions are met.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)