Full-Time Status: What you need to know

One of the most frequently asked questions that our Representatives answer is:  How do I become a full time employee?

The answer varies from contract to contract, but the large majority of these inquiries come from our grocery stores covered by the Retail Food and Meat Agreement.

You may obtain your full time status in one of two ways:  You can be hired as a full time employee (this is very rare) or you can earn your full time status. Earning the full time status is the most common way and is spelled out in your contract in Article 5A-1.

In order to earn full time status you must work at least 40 straight hours per week —five eight-hour days—in 16 consecutive weeks. With the exception of meat cutters, the accumulation of 16 consecutive weeks must be in a single store unless it is with the prior knowledge and approval of the home store manager or the district manager. Holidays not worked but paid or vacations taken in full week increments shall not interrupt the 16-week requirement.

Many members are disappointed and discouraged to find out that being scheduled 40 hours does not count toward the required 16 weeks. You must work each day and complete at least 8 hours of the shift to count as a full day. A short day of seven hours and 56 minutes for example, will not be sufficient and could easily break the 16-week consecutive cycle.

We advise members who are trying to earn their full time status to keep a work journal documenting all hours worked and to keep all pay stubs for those weeks in question.

Even though many store managers may advise you that you have locked in your full time status; they are generally unable to provide you with any proof in writing. You should file a full time grievance with the Union as soon as you believe that you have the 16 weeks. Upon successful conclusion and settlement of your case, the union will provide you with documentation from the company confirming your full time status.

There are strict time limits in all of our contracts, so it is extremely important you file as soon as possible after obtaining 16 weeks.

Should you have any questions or you need advice about your specific circumstances, please do not hesitate to call your representative or the union office.