Workplace Discrimination Involving Temporary Employees
Things are changing in the workplace. The workplace economy is growing, meaning more and more people are taking on temporary work in order to pay the bills. Temp workers often fill in for workers on leave or help deal with temporary staffing shortage, such as when a company is busy during a season and does not need a permanent worker year-round. Temp workers are used in a variety of industries, from industrial to clerical to retail to health care.
Temp work is a great way to gain experience with a company by working for them for a few months. However, working as a temp is not all fun and games. Temporary workers are often subject to discrimination because they are not considered permanent workers. Companies sometimes do not treat them as well. They subject them to dangerous work conditions and fail to properly train them. In some cases, they discriminate by asking the temp agencies for specific types of workers (males, those in their 20s, whites, etc.).
This is not only immoral but also illegal. All workers—temporary and permanent—are covered by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Companies often think they cannot get in trouble for inappropriate conduct displayed toward temporary workers, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Temporary workers have rights, too, and when employers don’t recognize this, they can get in serious legal trouble.
Temporary Employee Rights
According to the EEOC, temporary workers are covered under laws prohibiting discrimination. This is because they are still employees in some sense, whether they are employees of the staffing agency, the company they are working for, or both. This means that neither the company or staffing agency can discriminate against workers based on factors such as gender, color, race, religion, age or disability.
There is often some confusion about temporary workers, since they tend to work on short-term assignments. They are labeled as independent contractors in many cases, and this causes them to lose their right as temp workers.
If you are facing workplace discrimination as a temporary employee, you need to speak up. Take the following steps:
- Report the discrimination to both the company and temp agency. If the problem isn’t fixed by either company, move on to the next step.
- Report it to the appropriate government agency. Pay issues should be reported to the Department of Labor. Discrimination should be reported to the EEOC.
- Ask to be reassigned. If there is still no resolution, ask your temp agency to reassign you to a different position so you can maintain your income.
Contact a New York Discrimination Lawyer
Many employers fail to recognize that temporary employees have the same rights as permanent employees. They do not have to face workplace discrimination issues simply because they are temporary and not directly hired by the employers.
If you have faced discrimination based on your employment status, and the situation has not been resolved by your temp agency or the employer, seek legal help. The experienced New York discrimination lawyers at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. can assess your case. Schedule a consultation with our office today by calling (347) 464-8694.