Tania Fiero, PHR, SHRM-CP, Vice President, Human Resources

In Part I of this two part article, I provided a summary of programs and policies implemented by best in class staffing and payrolling companies that help to avoid legal and investigatory claims due to harassment, discrimination and injuries.  In this article I will explain how staffing and payrolling companies address claims when they occur.

Reactive Compliance

No matter how strong your compliance program is or that of the temporary staffing company, claims will still occur.  There are ways to reduce or eliminate the risk of claims if handled properly.

  1. Take Prompt Action When in Receipt of Claims of Discrimination or Harassment – After receiving an employee claim of discrimination or harassment, the investigation starts promptly with a phone call to the employee. The staffing or payrolling firm will follow their internal investigation process to learn the basis of the claim.  If appropriate and assuming that the harassment or discrimination complaint occurred during the course of the employee’s assignment at the client’s location, the staffing or payrolling firm must discuss the complaint with the proper client contact to determine the best course of action.  As co-employers, Investigations are the obligations of both the staffing firm and the client.  Acting promptly, and having an agreement and understanding between each company’s roles in the investigation is imperative.
  2. Take Prompt Action when a Workplace Injury Occurs – As the employer of record, the staffing firm’s workers compensation covers the cost of treatment and lost wages if applicable. The most important task is to ensure the employee gets the medical care they need and believe that the staffing or payrolling firm cares about their recovery and about returning them to work.  The staffing firm makes arrangements for the employee to be seen at a clinic which allows for proper invoicing and protocols to be implemented by the clinic.  Actions by the staffing and payrolling firm vary depending on the seriousness of the injury.
    1. Minor Injuries – Once initial treatment has been provided and the employee is able to return to work, the staffing firm returns the employee to the assignment.
    2. Restricted Duty – This is when the doctor’s instruction to the employee restricts certain activities interfering with their work. When this occurs, the staffing firm arranges for alternative work if possible either at the client or at another client.  This allows the employee to continue to work and receive wages.
    3. Unable to Work – In situations in which the employee is unable to work until released by a doctor, the staffing or payrolling firm will communicate regularly with the employee and the treating facility and will be a positive advocate to the employee for returning them to work and for communicating with the insurance company.
  3. Strategize Agency Investigations and Lawsuits – When investigations and lawsuits occur and name the staffing or payrolling firm, the staffing or payrolling firm takes the lead. Each require different strategies to respond and sometimes may involve their insurance program.  It is important for the staffing or payrolling firm to have sufficient insurance in place to help reduce the financial risk to the organization.

With a thorough compliance program, properly trained staff to manage the program, and strong partnerships with insurance vendors and clients, staffing and payrolling firms can mitigate not only their risks to costly claims but also risks to their clients.  By using an experienced employer of record it can help ensure your worker’s comp processes for your contract or contingent workers is done correctly. Reach out to the friendly experts at Innovative Employee Solutions for further assistance today! – See more at: Innovative Employee Solution.


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