In today’s uncertain economic times, hiring employees on a temporary basis can offer real benefits for your business. This is particularly the case if you’re busier at certain times of the year than at others, and only require extra help on a seasonal basis.
However, whilst temporary employees may seem like a godsend, the situation can quickly turn into a nightmare if you don’t read up on the law.
How To Stay On The Right Side Of The Law With Your Temporary Staff
There are some important steps you need to take to ensure that you remain within the law when hiring and working with temporary employees. Here’s a 4-step guide to understanding them.
1. Understand the employees rights.
You may well have found your temporary worker at a staffing agency. However, this doesn’t mean that the agency is solely responsible for their staff when it comes to legal matters. As a temporary employer, you’re also required to adhere to certain laws. As a general rule, these laws are much the same as for a permanent employee. Under legal acts such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, you must not discriminate against your employee in any way, and you can be held legally liable if you do.
2. Understand you’re responsible for their safety.
Again, in much the same way as a permanent member of staff, you’re fully responsible for your temporary staff member’s safety while they are on your premises. As a result, you’re expected to provide safe working conditions at all times. Be warned – a non-permanent member of staff has every bit as much right to sue you for negligence as a full-time employee.
3. Understand that the classification of a temporary employee is important.
There are different classifications of employee, and even if you only hire them on an irregular basis, a legal hearing may decide that actually, they’re regular members of staff within your organization, and as a result, deserve the same benefits and insurance options as the rest of your team. Make sure you fully outline the nature of their employment when you hire them, and know what they’re entitled to within that role.
4. Understand what the IRS expects from the company.
Tax is always a tricky issue to master when you’re running a company, and sometimes, temporary staff can make it even more complicated. Be warned – if the staffing agency you’re working with should be paying employment taxes on behalf of the temporary staff but aren’t, you may be held responsible instead. Make sure you check the details with the recruitment agency beforehand.
The best way to ensure that you’re acting on the right side of the law when hiring non-permanent staff is to get knowledgeable before you start hiring. Read up online, talk to your accountant and HR department, and check what the exact rules are in your state. Above all else, avoid leaving it to chance. If it turns out you’re acting outside of the law, you could be subject to a hefty fine, or worse.
About the author
Karen Rehn has 13 years experience in the staffing industry. Her zest for business and desire to leave Wisconsin winters behind led her to purchase Helping Hands Staffing Services, which is now known as HH Staffing. She says, “One of the greatest rewards of working in the staffing industry is the ability to make a real difference in the lives of others, I truly believe that our industry has an obligation to actively contribute to enhancing our communities and improving the lives of our employees.”
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.
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