Companies That Give Benefits to Part-Timers

wegmansIf you're looking for or thinking about switching to part-time work, don't think that you have to give up benefits in exchange for more flexibility. More and more companies today are offering benefits to part-time employees in attempts to attract and retain harder-working, more-qualified workers.

See Also: Top 10 Part-Time Jobs with Benefits 2010

Nationwide retailers like Target, Trader Joe's, Wegmans, and IKEA are just a few examples of companies that offer their part-time employees health care options, 401(k) plans, paid vacation time, and/or discounts on merchandise. In many cases, part-time workers still may need to work a minimum number of hours per week and put in a certain number of hours of work in order to qualify for any type of benefits package; however, once they do, the benefits they receive are often well worth the effort.

Below are even more companies whose qualified part-time workers can take advantage of a slew of benefits and company perks that are no longer reserved only for the full-time crew.

1. Starbucks

In addition to a benefits package that includes medical insurance, a retirement package and stock options, each "partner" who works 20 or more hours per week at the Seattle-based coffee chain receives a pound of free coffee each week.

2. Whole Foods

Not only are team members eligible for paid training, paid time off, health insurance, retirement savings and a discount to the natural foods store, they also get to vote every three years on which benefits the company should offer.

3. REI

All REI employees have access to flexible scheduling, gear discounts and free rentals, tuition reimbursement, a performance-based incentive program and gear grants to support any outdoor adventure challenges they may participate in.

4. Barnes & Noble

The bookstore chain offers part-time workers a significant discount on store merchandise in addition to a health care plan and a 401(k).

5. Nordstrom

Nordstrom employees' benefits fall into one of three categories: work/life balance, savings and protection. Benefits such as paid time off and bereavement leave fall under work/life balance; a merchandise discount, 401(k) plan and profit sharing are part of savings; and short- and long-term disability and life insurance are among its protection benefits.

6. Lowe's

Lowe's offers part-timers the opportunity to participate in a limited benefit health plan, a dental plan, term life insurance and short-term disability. A year of employment qualifies workers for 40 hours of paid vacation time, which increases with their length of service.

7. Lands' End

In addition to health care and retirement plans, merchandise discounts and paid time off, Lands' End offers its employees access to a company-owned recreation center, discount tickets to theme parks and movie theatres, and an invitation to the annual company picnic. Bonus: UW-Platteville students get to take advantage of a complementary busing system to help them get to the company's Dodgeville facility.

8. Nike

Part-time employees who work between 20 and 30 hours per week can qualify for health coverage the first day of the calendar year following a year of employment. Other benefits available include a matching gifts program for charitable donations, discounts at employee stores, discounts on auto and homeowners insurance, and scholarships for employee children.

9. Cost Plus World Market

In addition to medical coverage, life insurance and a 401(k), the retail chain's benefit package for eligible part-time employees includes flexible spending, vacation and floating holidays.

10. JCPenney

JCPenney invites associates who work less than 35 hours per week to participate in a dependent care spending account, medical, dental, vision and term life coverage, and paid time off, as well as a discount on merchandise.

If retail's not your bag, look into opportunities at organizations like banks, universities or hospitals, where it's not unusual for part-time employees to receive various benefits. These days, you can have your 401(k) and part-time status, too.

Next: Top 10 Part-Time Jobs with Benefits 2010

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