Can I have different Paid Time Off (PTO) policies for my full-time and part-time employees?

September 9, 2015・2 mins read
Can I Have Different Paid Time Off (PTO) Policies for my Full-time and Part-time Employees?

Absolutely. As long as the defining factor that separates groups of employees isn't race, color, age-over-40, religion, or other protected characteristics, employers are legally justified to treat one group of employees differently from another.

Defining types of employees

The following terms are commonly used to designate various types of employees:

  • Full-time
  • Part-time
  • Permanent
  • Temporary
  • Probationary
  • Regular

These terms are defined by employers rather than by law. Their definitions can vary from workplace to workplace, and they're primarily used to indicate which types of benefits certain employees are entitled to. You're justified in offering full benefits to one group, and limited benefits to another, for instance.


If you're an employer of both full-time and part-time workers in California, you could choose to offer a sick leave benefit to your part-time workers in compliance with the recent Healthy Workplace, Healthy Families Act of 2014 while offering a more generous PTO benefit to workers who are full-time. If you're a TriNet customer, you can use the free PTO product to track full-time and part-time employee time off.

Final tip

You're free to offer different benefits packages to different groups of employees, as long as the defining characteristics of the groups aren't EEOC protected traits.

Helpful link:

Can part time employees be treated different that full time employees? -

This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance.

This post may contain hyperlinks to websites operated by parties other than TriNet. Such hyperlinks are provided for reference only. TriNet does not control such web sites and is not responsible for their content. Inclusion of such hyperlinks on does not necessarily imply any endorsement of the material on such websites or association with their operators.

ESAC Accreditation
We comply with all ESAC standards and maintain ESAC accreditation since 1995.
Certified PEO
A TriNet subsidiary is classified as a Certified Professional Employer Organization by the IRS.