Part-Time Employees are People Too « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles

Part-Time Employees are People Too

Shorter Schedules Do Not Equal Shorter Legal Requirements

Whether your business is expanding or you are circling the wagons to weather an economic downturn, hiring part-time employees may be part of the game plan.

However, hiring for shortened hours or for fewer days does not absolve an employer from complying with the full range of workplace legal requirements applicable to the full-time workers.  Indeed, management of part-time employees may take even greater attention to the wage and hour laws to avoid the pitfalls.

Question: For instance, under California’s labor law, would an employer have to provide one or more ten minute paid rest periods for an employee who only worked for three hours on a given day? How about a worker who put in four hours? Six? Six hours and five minutes?

Answer: It depends and it’s not necessarily simple.  A California business must provide a rest period for “each four hours worked (or major portion thereof).”  Thus:

Three hours daily labor: no break required (did not work the minimum four hours);

Four hours daily labor: one break required (since the worker reached the four hour minimum);

Six hours daily labor: only one break required (since the worker reached the four hour minimum but not the major portion [more than half] of another four hour period); and

Six hours and ten minutes daily labor: two breaks required (since the worker reached the four hour minimum and worked the major portion of another four hour period).

Your part-timers could also qualify for required unpaid meal periods, daily overtime, specific paycheck disclosures and other rules.  Worker’s compensation and other standard employee requirements are givens, small business or large.  Please give us a call with any questions.

For more information on California’s labor laws, visit the California Department of Industrial Relations website