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Temporary Employee Rights

What is a temporary employee?

Temporary employees are hired to assist employers to meet business demands yet allow the employer to avoid the cost of hiring a regular employee. Sometimes, it is the expectation of the employer that if the temporary employee is successful, the temporary employee will be hired. There may be other factors that can make you a temporary employee. Many times the difference between a permanent employee and a temporary employee may cause questions to be raised. Read below the top five temporary employee rights questions that have been answered by the Experts.

What rights are violated when a temporary employee is asked to train his replacement?

This would depend upon who hired the replacement. If it's the temporary employment agency, then no rights are violated. If it's the employer to whom the temporary employee is contracted to, then the act of placing the temporary employee in a supervisory position over the internal replacement could be construed as treating the temp as an employee, and that would entitle the temporary employee to all of the benefits of an internal employee -- retroactive to the beginning of employment: health benefits, stock options, equal pay, etc.

If a business hires a temporary employee that takes notes about other employees and customers, can the temporary employee be terminated?

Since the temporary employee is just that, the employee can be fired in most situations for taking notes on other employees and customers. However, the employer should give them a verbal or written warning in a good faith practice, although the employer is not mandated to do so. Most employees regardless of whether they are temporary or permanent are considered “at will’ and can be terminated for any reason.

Is there a 1000 hour work limit for a temporary employee to become a permanent employee within the company?

There is no arbitrary 1,000 hour limit that requires an employer to do anything concerning an employee. The only law that uses aggregate hours as a measurement is the federal Family Medical and Leave Act, which requires that an employer with 50 or more employees within 75 miles of an employee's worksite, must provide job reinstatement to an employee who requests leave for a serious illness or disability or to care for a close family member, if the employee has worked at least 1,250 hours and 12 months for the employer. As for terminating an employee who has worked 1,000+ hours, the employer is free to do so without any liability.

Does Missouri pay unemployment benefits to "temporary" employees that work thru temp agency?

Often in the state of Missouri temp agents will base it on if the employee has earnings from employers who paid into the unemployment compensation system. So either each of the employers who hired the employee through the agency paid into the system and/or the agency paid into the system - depending on who writes the checks to the employee.

What rights does a temporary employee have against a temporary employer that was hired through a staffing agency if the employee feels like they have been discriminated because of age?

If there is age/race discrimination, even against a temporary employer, it is actionable with a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The biggest thing is proving that this was actually the employer, and then the discrimination claim can move forward. If the employee worked for a temporary agency they may have the issue of dual employer or shared employee status or borrowed employee status, which still protects the employee from discrimination. The employee needs to make the first complaint to the EEOC or state commission on human/civil rights and the EEOC will have to investigate as part of the rule that the employee must exhaust administrative remedies and then the EEOC have to issue the employee a right to sue letter for the employee to proceed to court.

Hiring temporary employees serves a business purpose for the company and the objective is to hire temps rather than taking on the cost of a regular employee. Temporary employees allow employers to maintain a cushion of some job security in employment for regular workers. The temporary employees can be let go first in a business or economic downturn and thus cause many unanswered questions. If you are a temporary employee and are not sure of your temporary employee rights, contact the Experts to help answer your questions.
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