As a full-time employee, does my employer have to offer me health and retirement benefits or lunch breaks?

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As a full-time employee, does my employer have to offer me health and retirement benefits or lunch breaks?

Asked on May 14, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you are over 16, your employer is not required to give you lunch or rest breaks--in North Carolina, only workers under 16 have to get these. It is up to the employer whether to provide a break or not.

In no state is an employer required to provide health and retirement benefits--it is legal to not offer either. If an employer chooses to offer these, then it may be that have to offered them, too--employers are limited in their ability to discriminate among employees, or offer health and retirement to some, but not others. That said, if you work at a very different position or job, or a different location, than others who do get these things, it may be possible to offer them to other staff but not you; the law prohibits discrimination in this regard among similarly situated staff, but does not necessarily require all employees to be treated the same if there are sufficient differences in location or job.  If there are employees who receive these but you don't, you should consult with an employment lawyer about the specifics of your situation to see if it is legal.


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