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Part-time employee Benefits Illinois

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  • Part-time employee Benefits Illinois

    Hello! A member of my family is currently being classified as a part-time employee (in Illinois) and therefore being denied benefits. She is working at a minimum 35 hours a week- which is the company's requirement. Is she truly a part-time employee working 35 hours a week? Does she have any recourse regarding being denied benefits?

    Thank you!

    Additional Information - I just spoke with her and I misunderstood the hour requirement. She is only required to work 25 hours a week, but she has worked 35 hours a weeks consistently since her employment began a few years ago. So, essentially, they aren't "requiring" her to work 35 hours a week, but she really "has" to and does every week because of the amount of work she has to complete. I am not sure if this changes anything.
    Last edited by Sarah G; 11-20-2008, 09:27 AM. Reason: Additional Information

  • #2
    I can give you a "soft" answer. IL is not my state. On the other hand, if IL really had rules on this, it would be something widely reported since the general issue gets discussed a lot.

    Generally speaking states mostly do not have rules that make employers offer benefits and do not have rules defining part time. There are a very few states that have a definition of "part time" (not IL) and even there the rules to my knowledge are not that specific in saying that after xx hours per week the employee must be offered certain benefits. CA for example defines part time, but does not require that benefits be offered to anyone. CA's rule on "part time" is arguably fairly meaningless as far as most employees are concerned. There is something like 20% of the City of San Francisco's workforce (for example) that have legally been in a permanent part time no benefit status, 20+ years for some employees. The CA labor code's defintion of "part time" has been no help at all for these employees.

    HOWEVER! This is labor law and not all law is labor law. The obvious next step is to take a hard look at the companies published plans and policies. It is possible for an employer's actions to create a liability that would not have otherwise existed. If you can find an actual company policy being violated, then there is a possibility that a contract law remedy exists.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      As far as employment law goes, there are three, maybe four (one I have not been able to confirm) states that make any attempt at defining full and part time, and Illinois is not one of them.

      I would recommend having an attorney review the policy to see if it is legally binding.
      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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