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Contingent workers and compliance

Posted on September 6th, 2013 Read time: 1 minutes

Hiring temporary workers can be an excellent business decision for many organizations. However, it is important to keep an eye on potential compliance issues. While temporary and contract workers are technically the employees of their staffing agency rather than the company contracting with the agency for their services, it's possible to run into trouble as a co-employer. There is also the risk for temporary workers to become confused about who their employer is and to create problems, according to Workforce.

To avoid these issues, the difference between temporary workers and permanent staff should always be emphasized. Contingent employees should not be given business cards, employee handbooks, ID badges or access to employee-only facilities. Anything to which employees are entitled should be regulated to ensure temporary workers do not have the same access. Company policies should be reviewed as well – unclear language can open a company to conflicts regarding what contingent workers are owed in terms of benefits and other employee-only amenities.

Organizations must always assume anti-discrimination laws apply equally to contingent and permanent employees. This will prevent legal issues and is simply best practice. Written contracts with staffing agencies, which are a necessity, should specify that the agency will comply fully with any internal investigations that may become necessary.

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