While there are employment laws in place for employee protection, the specific rights you get are determined by your job status. Most often, your employment status will fall into either seasonal, temporary, part-time, or full-time work. Usually, full-time workers get access to the most benefits, but there are standards for all types of employees, and the status categories can overlap.
Seasonal employees are taken on by companies in need of additional help for a specific season, such as the holidays, winter, or summer. Some businesses hire thousands of seasonal workers every year to meet that season’s higher demands. It’s important to know the details of what your seasonal employment status means for you in terms of benefits and what you can expect from the job.
Points to Keep in Mind About Seasonal Jobs
- Seasonal employees are hired to help during part of the year
- They’re entitled to overtime pay and minimum wage, but not benefits
- Seasonal work can turn into fulltime work if the employer decides to keep you on when the season is over
- If your employer has treated you unfairly as a seasonal worker, speaking with an attorney can help
Seasonal employment is temporary work that’s only available for part of the year. Seasonal jobs can be fulltime for employees during a certain time of year, but don’t provide a year-round position.
Why Take a Seasonal Job?
Seasonal jobs are a way to earn extra money for a special occasion, or to pay off debts. They’re a good way to make a second income on the side because many seasonal positions take place on weekends or evenings. Some employers hire on temporary workers during a certain season to test if they’ll fit a more permanent position. So, some workers specifically seek out a temporary job in hopes that it will turn into fulltime work.
Example Seasonal Jobs
Seasonal workers are hired in many industries, including sales, shipping and handling, customer care, hospitality, and retail. Here are some examples of common seasonal job positions:
- College interns working during their summer break from school
- Working as a lifeguard for a public pool in the summer
- Covering a retail position during the Christmas season
- Operating a ski lift during the winter at a mountain resort
- Accountants working during the yearly tax season
If a seasonal position lasts longer than usual one particular year, the job will most likely still be considered a seasonal job. Graduate interns who are hired for a year-long internship beginning in the same month each year aren’t seasonal employees. Similarly, temporary call center employees hired to help with high volume calls don’t necessarily count as seasonal.
Your Rights as a Seasonal Employee in Arizona
Although they’re only hired as a part-time employee, seasonal employees are still entitled to overtime pay and minimum wage.
Seasonal workers must get overtime pay for extra hours of work. The current overtime rate, according to federal regulations, is time and a half. This means you get 150 percent of your ordinary wage for any hours worked that go beyond a 40-hour workweek. This applies to most positions, but keep in mind that certain service or retail jobs that pay commission might not be subject to this rule.
The minimum wage is the lowest wage an employee can expect to receive in Arizona. The state minimum wage is $11 an hour, while the federal minimum is $7.25. The law states that employers must abide by whichever is higher (the state or federal minimum).
Seasonal Work and Sick Leave
Since July of 2017, employees in Arizona have had a chance to accrue hours each year for paid sick time off. According to the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act, seasonal employees (along with part-time and full-time workers) get an hour of sick leave for every 30 hours spent working. Employers with over 15 employees owe their workers 40 hours of sick time each year. Employers with less than 15 employees must provide 24 hours per year.
How Working With an Attorney Can Help
If you took a seasonal job and the employer didn’t follow federal regulations for giving you overtime pay or minimum wage, you may find it helpful to work with a legal professional. Another thing to keep in mind with seasonal or temporary work is that it’s often teenagers taking these jobs. If your child’s employer broke any Arizona laws on child labor, they may be held liable for their actions with the help of an attorney.
FAQ on Seasonal Jobs
Here are some common questions about seasonal positions:
Q: How long do seasonal jobs usually last?
To qualify as a seasonal position, the job must last for less than 120 days (6 months). As mentioned, some companies hire seasonal workers to see if they’re a good fit for a more permanent position. Your seasonal place of work may decide to take you on as a year-round employee after your temporary position ends.
Q: Do Seasonal Employees get Benefits?
Federal law doesn’t state that employers must offer their seasonal employees the same benefits as their year-round, full-time workers. If, however, you work over 30 hours a week and your employment lasts for longer than 6 months, they might owe you health insurance according to the ACA (Affordable Care Act). Make sure you ask your employer about this and speak with an employment law attorney if anything is unclear.
Q: Why do employers hire seasonal workers?
By hiring seasonal workers, companies can make the best use of their workforce and dedicate the sources at hand to the current workload. They can also test out temporary workers for full-time jobs in the future.
What to Do if You Need Help
While the specifics may differ depending on classification, all employees in the United States are entitled to fair treatment and rights. If you believe your employer has denied you rights because you’re a temporary worker, speak with your supervisor first. If the issue isn’t resolved after that, speak with an employment law attorney. They’ll help answer your questions and figure out where to go from here.
Call our Employment Law team at (480) 464-1111 to discuss your case today.