Federal Labor Laws on Part Time Employment
- Teenagers aged 14 and 15 can work under certain conditions outside of school hours. During a week in which school is in session, the FLSA limits these ages to part-time employment of 18 hours a week. They are limited to three hours of work on a school day, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). When school is not in session, they may work a traditional 40-hour, full-time workweek with limits on how late they can work. Check state laws for any additional restrictions.
Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- The FMLA provides up to 12 weeks unpaid leave for eligible employees to deal with certain family and medical circumstances. The act is relevant to part-time employees because eligibility is limited to employees who worked at least 1,250 hours for their employer over the last 12 months. For part-time employees, this means they must have averaged at least 24 hours per week over the last year to be eligible for FMLA.
- When a civilian federal employee applies for unemployment compensation the DOL rules are that the law of the state in which she was most recently employed prevails on eligibility and amount of compensation. States base unemployment compensation laws on factors such as the amount of hours worked and the amount of money made by the employee. This can make it difficult for part-time employees to get unemployment. Contact the relevant state unemployment office for specific eligibility requirements.
Domestic Service Workers
- Domestic service workers, including cooks, babysitters, and housekeepers, are exempt from the protections of the FLSA if they don’t work enough hours or make enough money. As of 2007, these workers must make at least $1,500 from one employer in a calendar year and work “more than 8 hours a week for one or more employers” to be non-exempt, according to the DOL.