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Sheila McGarrigle
/ Categories: Eligibility, Q&A

Top 3 Must See — Part-Time, Seasonal, and Contract Employee Questions

May 1, 2018

PFL claims

Paid Family Leave can be a little confusing especially for part-time, seasonal, and contract employees. For this month’s “Top 3 Must See,” we’re answering your real questions about PFL for part-time employees.

Before we jump into your top 3 questions, here’s some helpful information as to how Paid Family Leave distinguishes between full and part-time employees, and when an employee of a Covered Employer becomes eligible for PFL:

Type of Employee


Eligible When They Have Worked:


Works less than 20 hours per week

At least 175 days worked for the same employer (does not have to be consecutive)


Works 20 or more hours per week

At least 26 consecutive weeks for the same employer in a 52-week period


1. Is a part-time employee considered eligible for PFL if they work 2 days per week, but not 175 days?

The short answer: no. As you can see from the chart above, a part-time employee (someone who works less than 20 hours per week) must work at least 175 days for the same covered employer to be considered eligible. Now, those 175 days don’t have to be consecutive, but if the days worked don’t add up to 175, then the part-time employee will not be considered eligible.


2. We only have one employee — he’s part-time, paid a salary of $6,000 per year (or a little more with a bonus), who works on an as-needed basis. Some days he works 15 minutes, some days 2 hours. How is the 175-day minimum for eligibility tracked?

Regardless of how many hours or minutes in a day a part-time employee works, if they work for a Covered Employer and get paid, that is considered a work day and will count towards the 175-day minimum required for PFL eligibility.  So, whether it’s for 10 minutes or 10 hours in a day, that day counts as a day worked for Paid Family Leave eligibility.

Paid Family Leave breaks employees into two categories: those who work 20 hours or more per week (full-time) and those who work less than 20 hours per week (part-time). But PFL does not distinguish how long in a day a person has to work for eligibility, only how many days in a year they worked. So if that employee works at least 175 days, even if it’s only for 15 minutes to 2 hours here and there, then he would be considered eligible for PFL.


3. Are seasonal employees, contract employees, or temporary employees who will not work 26 weeks considered eligible? At what point do they become eligible, if their contract or time is extended?

Let’s look at seasonal and temporary employees first. As with part-time employees, these types of employees are subject to the same requirements: if they work less than 20 hours per week, they must work at least 175 days in a year to be considered eligible. So if you have a seasonal or temporary employee who works for 90 days in the summer, and then they come back for another 90 days in the winter, that combined 180 days would make them eligible. If they haven’t worked at least 175 days, then they aren’t eligible (assuming they didn’t waive out of PFL or weren’t terminated and then rehired).

For contract employees, it can be a little different. If they work at least 20 hours in a week, then they need to meet the 26 consecutive weeks of work with the same employer to be considered eligible. If the contract is for less than 26 weeks, they won’t be considered eligible, but if the contract is extended and they end up working 26 weeks for the same employer without breaks, then they will be eligible. If they work less than 20 hours, though, then the 175- day rule applies.

However, if you hire an independent contractor, they would not be considered eligible under either definition as they are part of the exempt or excluded classes of employees. If you hire a contract worker who is not an independent contractor, they must meet the same guidelines as stated above.

Have more questions about how PFL works for part-time, seasonal, or contract employees, or other Paid Family Leave topics? Ask our PFL experts at pflquestions@shelterpoint.com.


This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal counsel. Please consult with an appropriate professional for legal and compliance advice. Any PFL information is as of the blog post’s date stamp; it is based on the applicable statutes and regulation,  and may change as regulations evolve or NY State issues guidance regarding Paid Family Leave regulations. Have more questions? Email us at pflquestions@shelterpoint.com
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