Temporary workers, also known as seasonal workers, contingent workers, contract workers or consultants, provide many Kentucky businesses with great flexibility with their staffing requirements. Not only do temps provide extra assistance during busy periods of the year, hiring a worker for a limited term allows the employer to evaluate the individual and determine if he or she may have the potential to be a permanent employee. However, until a permanent job offer is made and accepted, the temp is somewhat of a hybrid worker who completes a work shift at the business but is actually employed by the temporary agency.
The relationship between the business and the staffing agency is essential to protecting the temp worker’s rights under federal and state law. For instance, OSHA suggests businesses and agencies take a joint responsibility approach in ensuring the temp’s right to a safe working environment. This was done to avoid problems in the past where certain employers used temps to sidestep compliance with OSHA requirements and agencies feigned ignorance of all potential workplace hazards.
Now, if a temp is injured on the job, the business and the agency cannot simply point to the other entity. Each is in a position to prevent and correct hazardous conditions and comply with OSHA regulations. The agency can educate its workers on general safety techniques, while the business should have a greater understanding of the issues specific to its own operation.
Worker’s compensation remains the first remedy for a worker, temporary or otherwise, injured while performing work-related functions. A worker’s compensation lawyer can assist in ensuring compensation claims are handled adequately, especially if an OSHA violation is involved.