How Many Hours Do You Need To Work To Get Benefits In California?

Are you wondering how many hours you need to work to receive benefits in California? It’s important to know your rights as an employee in the state to ensure you receive the benefits you deserve.

In California, the minimum hours required to qualify for healthcare benefits vary depending on the employer and the type of plan offered. However, many employers consider employees working at least 30 hours per week as full-time, making them eligible for healthcare benefits.

Not sure whether you are considered a part time or a full time employee? It’s crucial to know California part time hours laws and the benefits you’re entitled to receive regardless of whether you are a full time employee or not.

Understanding California’s Employment Laws


Understanding California’s Employment Laws is essential for every worker in the Golden State. When it comes to benefits, California law mandates that employees must work at least 30 hours per week to qualify for benefits such as health insurance, paid time off, and retirement plans.

However, it’s important to note that the specific requirements may vary depending on the employer and the type of benefits being offered. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult your employer’s policies or a legal professional to ensure you’re aware of the exact number of hours you need to work to receive the benefits you deserve.

Minimum Hours for Healthcare Benefits in California

If you want healthcare benefits in California, you’ll have to put in enough hours to meet the minimum requirement. The minimum hours you need to work to qualify for healthcare benefits depend on the size of your employer.

If your employer has 20 or more employees, you must work at least 30 hours per week to be eligible for healthcare benefits. However, if your employer has fewer than 20 employees, the minimum requirement is reduced to 20 hours per week.

It’s important to note that these hours must be worked consistently over a certain period, usually a month or a quarter, to maintain eligibility for healthcare benefits.

Qualifying for Paid Leave in California


To be eligible for paid leave in California, meeting certain requirements is essential. The first requirement is having earned a minimum of $300 from which State Disability Insurance (SDI) deductions were made during a specific base period. The base period is typically the 12 months prior to the start of your leave.

You must also have a non-work-related illness or injury that prevents you from doing your regular job duties, or you must be experiencing a pregnancy-related disability.

If you meet these criteria, you can apply for Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits, which provide up to eight weeks of paid leave to bond with a new child or care for a seriously ill family member.

Family and Medical Leave

The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons, including the birth or adoption of a child, or a serious health condition of the employee or their family member.

To be able to qualify for this benefit, you should:

  • Have worked for the company for at least a year.
  • Have worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous year

Pregnancy Disability Leave

California provides up to 4 months of unpaid leave for employees disabled by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. For this benefit, there is no eligibility criteria. All women are eligible for PDL upon hire and they don’t need to work certain hours to qualify.

Unemployment Insurance


Employers are required to pay into the state’s unemployment insurance fund, which provides benefits to eligible employees who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. To be eligible for this benefit program, you must a resident of California and meet all of the following:

  • Unemployed
  • Worked in California during the past 12 months (this period may be longer in some cases),
  • Earned a minimum amount of wages determined by California guidelines
  • Actively seeking work each week you are collecting benefits.

State Disability Insurance

California State Disability Insurance (SDI) provides short-term disability benefits to eligible employees who are unable to work due to non-work-related illnesses or injuries. To be able to qualify, you must:

  • Be unable to do your regular or customary work for at least eight days.
  • Be employed or actively looking for work at the time your disability begins.
  • Have lost wages because of your disability.
  • Have earned at least $300 from which State Disability Insurance (SDI) deductions were withheld during your base period.

Retirement Plan Eligibility in California


To qualify for a retirement plan in California, you’ll want to ensure you meet the necessary eligibility requirements.

In California, most employees are covered by the state’s retirement program, known as CalPERS. To be eligible for CalPERS, you need to work at least 1,000 hours in a fiscal year. This means you must work an average of about 19 hours per week. However, certain employees, such as part-time and temporary workers, may have different eligibility requirements.

It’s important to note that CalPERS provides retirement benefits to public employees, including state and local government employees, school employees, and employees of public agencies.

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can expect to receive retirement benefits based on your years of service and salary.

Knowing Your Rights as an Employee in California

In California, employees are entitled to certain rights and benefits that protect them in the workplace. One important right is the right to be paid at least the minimum wage, which is currently $14 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees, and $13 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.

Additionally, employees have the right to meal and rest breaks, with a 30-minute meal break for shifts longer than five hours, and a second 30-minute meal break for shifts longer than ten hours.

It’s also important to know that California law requires employers to provide employees with sick leave, which allows them to take time off for their own illness or to care for a family member.

By understanding and asserting your rights as an employee, you can ensure that you are being treated fairly and receiving the benefits you deserve.


Working in California comes with certain benefits that you should be aware of. To qualify for healthcare benefits, you generally need to work a minimum number of hours. Keep yourself informed and advocate for your rights as a worker in the state.