During recent years in South Florida, many employers have been hesitant to hire new employees because of the uncertain economy. Instead, they use staffing companies and other resources in order to hire temporary or contract-basis employees. While this may provide flexibility to both the employer and the worker, a variety of legal issues come along with this.
Just because a worker is brought on board on a temporary basis does not mean that worker is not protected by a variety of employment laws. For example, wage laws and discrimination and harassment statutes protect both full-time and temporary workers.
Companies may still be liable for violations of these laws even when they affect only temporary workers, who may have been placed by a staffing company.
Workers may often be confused about their rights and who to contact about a complaint. Depending on the circumstances of the complaint and the contract between the staffing agency and the employer, and the worker and the staffing agency, one or both companies may be held responsible.
When temporary workers begin a new position, they are often wise to ask questions and make sure they understand what procedures and policies will apply throughout their time with the company. It is to the benefit of agencies and employers, too, to be sure to provide temps with a clear list of applicable rules.
When temporary employees are confused about their rights or feel their employment rights have been violated, they may wish to consult an experienced employment law attorney. Even if the employer does not know whether the agency or the employer is liable for the wrongdoing, the employment law attorney should be able to investigate the matter.
Source: Law.com, "A Growing Temp Workforce Means More Employer Liability," Shannon Green, Aug. 7, 2012