Out of Work? Get Part-Time Work and Benefits!

Hewlett-Packard Co. (Stock Quote: HQP) announced this week it plans to lay off some 24,600 jobs in the next three years. That's a lot of folks that will need health insurance and other benefits.

Meanwhile the collapse of Lehman (Stock Quote: LEH), along with Bank of America (Stock Quote: BAC) scooping up Merrill (Stock Quote: MER), puts some 85,000 total workers in a serious job security worry-zone.

Losing your job suddenly can cost you more than your salary, benefits have value, too. However, quickly landing part-time job with benefits can offset the shock of a layoff. Sometimes working 18 hours a week at retail outlets, universities, hospitals or delivery services can provide medical benefits.

Here is a look at five part-time options:


Can you lift 25 to 35 lbs? If so, consider handling packages for FedEx (FDX) or UPS (UPS).

UPS provides its permanent, part-time package handlers with fully paid healthcare benefits in addition to 22% discounts on Verizon Wireless (VZN),and up to 40% on Dell (DELL) computers and Panasonic products. Tuition assistance up to $3,000 per year and even adoption assistance is available to part-timers at some locations.

Not only can you get medical benefits, but you also are eligible for an employee-discount on merchandise when you work part-time at some retailers, such as Target (TGT), Trader Joe's, Barnes & Noble (BKS), Land's End, and JC Penney (JCP). Also, Starbuck's (SBUX) allows all workers to take home a pound of ground coffee beans a week.

Employees of the outdoor gear retailer REI may elect to participate in the healthcare plan after 30 days and can even elect to enroll their spouse, life-partner and children who live in the home with the employee. If medical is elected, the employee will receive a 60% subsidy of the cost from REI and basic life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance paid by in full by the company. Part-timers who work more than 20 hours a week receive additional benefits.

Also, all REI employees receive gear discounts and free rentals, tuition reimbursement, and gear grants to support any outdoor adventure challenges they may participate in.


Burgerville, a 1,500 employee, 39-restaurant chain in the Pacific Northwest has found that offering affordable health care not only makes for happier and healthier employees, it can actually benefit the profitability of the business.

Before this subsidiary of The Holland Inc., began offering healthcare coverage in 2006, the company's employee turnover rate was 128%. Today it hovers around 52%.

"At Burgerville, we know that happier and healthier employees stay longer, feel a stronger tie to the organization and are more confident in themselves both at work and in their personal lives," says Jack Graves, Chief Cultural Officer with Burgerville.

Under Burgerville's health care plan, employees who have been with the company for at least six months and work 20 hours a week are eligible for health insurance, which costs the employee $15 per month. The cost for a family plan is $60.

If like working with money, perhaps being a part-time bank teller is the position for you. Most banks offer solid benefits to their part-timers.


At Wells Fargo (WFC), part-time employees can participate in a plan that lets them pay for mass transit and parking fees on a pre-tax basis. They are also eligible for $2,500 towards tuition, half of what the full-timers receive. Another $2,500 is available for adoption reimbursement.

Although being an adjunct professor or guest lecturer may not get you any benefits at some universities, taking on other part-time work on campus just might. According to statements by Purdue University, the University of Maine and the Illinois Institute of Technology, part-timers can qualify for partial tuition reduction (up to 75% of at IIT) in addition to some medical benefits.

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