Employee benefits are often a major reason why workers choose a given company. A high salary and good culture don't always cut it – employees want basic coverages like health insurance and 401(k) plans, as well as other useful perks.
At many companies, only full-timers who work at least 40 hours a week are eligible for benefits. However, some employers extend this option to their part-time staff. Here are nine companies that offer great benefits to part-time workers.
At REI, all full- and part-time employees are eligible for an annual incentive plans. Those who work over 20 hours a week also qualify for the REI Flex Plan, where they choose from various medical plans for themselves and their dependents. The company covers most of the medical plan cost and all the basic life and disability plans. There are additional options like like vision care, orthodontia and long-term care coverage as well. For those who work less than 20 hours a week, REI helps them to navigate the health insurance marketplace. They also offer employees discount programs (50 percent off REI gear and apparel, 30 percent off vendor merchandise and 10 percent off sale items), Yay Days (one day off every six months for outdoor activities), challenge grants (to put toward goals like climbing Mt. Everest), and tuition reimbursement toward higher education for those who plan on staying with the company.
2. Caribou Coffee
Caribou Coffee employees working at least 20 hours a week are eligible for medical, dental and vision insurance for themselves and their dependents. Those working at least 32 hours a week are also eligible for life insurance. Additionally, any worker over 21 years old can participate in a 401(k) after 90 days of service. All members are given discounts on company products as well.
Although hourly part-timers at Costco must wait a little longer than full-time employees for benefit eligibility (180 days instead of 90), the national wholesale retailer offers a competitive package that includes health, dental and vision care, a 401(k) plan with employer contribution, discounts on prescription medication, child care assistance and life insurance. Employee premium portions or costs are withheld pretax.
Lowe's Home Improvement offers eligible part-time workers numerous benefits options that are available after 89 days of continuous employment. This includes preventive care medical, dental and vision insurance, and life insurance. The company also offers other benefits such as corporate wellness programs and learning and development programs.
Staples' plan for part-time workers includes limited vision and dental benefits, life and dependent life, accidental death, short-term disability, and a 401(k) plan.
All Starbucks employees, or "partners," working 20 or more hours per week are entitled to a specially tailored benefits package to fit their personal needs. Once a partner has worked at least 240 hours over a three-month period, he or she is eligible for comprehensive health care coverage, discounted stock purchase options, 401(k) with match, educational savings and a time-off program. In a precedent-setting move for the fast-food industry, Starbucks also has a partnership with Arizona State University that allows all eligible U.S. employees to earn a bachelor's degree through ASU's online program, with full or partial tuition coverage. Regardless of the benefits chosen, all partners receive an in-store discount and one free pound of coffee, K-cup pack or tea tin per week.
On the UPS website, the company boasts offering "full-time benefits for part-time employees," from health care plans to tuition assistance. Additionally, a variety of insurance programs, flexible spending accounts and work-life balance programs are available to all UPS workers. Part-time employees can also take advantage of the UPS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) or Earn and Learn, which provides up to $5,250 in assistance per calendar year with a lifetime maximum of $25,000.
Although Wegmans currently only operates in the northeastern U.S., it has consistently been named one of Fortune magazine's 100 best companies to work for since its founding in 1998. Based on its benefits program, the company has certainly earned its spot on that list: Health and dental coverage, spending accounts, adoption assistance, wellness programs and retirement plans are all offered to eligible part-time employees.
9. Whole Foods
Paid time off, health and life insurance, and stock option-retirement plans are just a few of the benefits offered to Whole Foods Market employees who work at least 20 hours a week and have completed a probationary employment period. In addition to a competitive compensation package, all employees receive a store discount of 20 percent or more.
Additional reporting by Nicole Fallon and Marci Martin.