Under federal and Texas labor laws, private employers in Texas have the right to define full-time and part-time employment as they wish. They can also set a specific working schedule. One of the main reasons for making a distinction between full-time and part-time employment is to determine which employees are eligible for company benefits and which are not.
Part-Time Hours in Texas
Most companies in Texas define full-time employees as those who are regularly scheduled to work a set number of hours per week, such as 37.5 or 40 hours. They give part-time status to any employees who work less than that number of hours per week. So in one company, a full-time employee might regularly work 40 hours per week, while part-time job hours can amount to 30 hours per week. In another company, a part-time employee might work only 15 hours per week.
Part-Time Public Employees
Under Texas law, public employees must work at least 40 hours per week to qualify as a full-time worker. There are no such statutory qualifications for part-time workers. The rate of pay for a part-time public employee must be in proportion to the rate authorized by the state's General Appropriations Act for full-time employment in the same classified position. If the position is not included under the state's position classification plan, the rate of pay must be in proportion to the rate for full-time employment in the applicable exempt position.
Provided a company offers equal employment opportunities, federal and Texas state laws allow employers to have one set of benefits for part-time employees and another set for full-time employees. Employers must comply with certain rules regarding some types of benefits. For example, under federal law, any company offering pension or retirement benefits must give every employee who works at least 1,000 hours over a 12-month period the opportunity to join a pension or retirement plan.
Under Texas law, any employer with a health insurance plan must offer it to every employee who typically works at least 30 hours per week. Both part-time and full-time employees in Texas are entitled to be paid for all hours worked, and the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, as of July 2018.
Texas employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, sick leave benefits or bereavement leave, either paid or unpaid. However, if an employer chooses to provide such benefits to full- or part-time workers, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.