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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Legal Rights for Temporary Workers This Holiday Season

The holiday season can be an excellent example of supply and demand working almost perfectly in the marketplace:  People need extra money, and retailers need extra help.  Therefore temporary jobs are created.  

 

This holiday season, employers are announcing the creation of thousands of temporary jobs.  According to a recent article published in the AJC, the Kohl’s department store plans to hire an average of 50 seasonal workers per store for the upcoming holidays.   Nationwide, the store is projected to hire 69,000 workers total in the coming months, an increase from 67,000 last year (there are a 35 Kohl’s locations throughout the state of Georgia). 

 

Atlanta-based UPS announced it will hire 90,000 to 95,000 seasonal workers nationwide due to the increased amount of shopping online the needs shipping.  FedEx plans to add approximately 5,000 employees this holiday season. 

 

This mutual need for help and a temporary boost in income should result in a win-win for both employers and employees, but sometimes temporary workers are unsure of their rights.   Here’s some useful information if you are considering temporary employment this holiday season:

 

Working 40+ hours does not mean you're working full-time: Traditionally, full-time jobs are referred to as a "40-hour work week." This issue is currently being debated as a portion of the Affordable Care Act defines full-time employment as 30+ hours a week. Thus, a temporary employee could be deemed as a full-time employee under the Affordable Care Act if they work 30 or more hours per week.  The Affordable Care Act became effective in 2014; therefore, if you work as a temporary employee for a company that employs over 50 employees this holiday season, you may be entitled to health care benefits under the Affordable Care Act. If you worked as a temporary employee prior to 2014, the designation and benefits associated with full-time employment would  have been  determined by the employer.

 

Some of the same rules apply, but not all: Although temporary employees are not offered the full suite of benefits available to traditional full-time employees, the federal legal requirements for fair treatment still apply (such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA and the American Disabilities Act, or ADA).  Similarly, temporary employees may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation for job related injuries.  Although some smaller, locally owned business may be exempted from some federal laws and Workers’ Compensation requirements.

 

Addressing issues: Sometimes temporary workers with problems or complaints may not feel that they have the same access to HR or management as a fulltime employee. But it's smart for management to listen to temporary  employees and fairly address any problems that may arise at the local level. Temporary workers who are not satisfied with how issues are handled may file complaints   with their primary employer, if they work with a temporary employment agency.  It is a good practice to review and follow the grievance procedures set forth in the employee handbook if one is provided to the temporary worker upon hire. Temporary workers who feel that their issues are not adequately addressed by their employer, may often file complaints and claims directly with government agencies such as the Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or the State Board of Workers’ Compensation.

 

For more information about Employment Law, contact Lajuana Ransaw or call 770-957-3937

 

Any representations regarding the law in this Blog is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.


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