The Dangers of Hiring Temporary Workers


Temp workers are a crucial part of the U.S. workforce, making up one in eight jobs and earning more than half a trillion dollars in wages. They are often hired for positions that require special skills or are available only during certain times of the year, and many temp workers have never worked in any other type of job.

But the lightly regulated blue-collar temp world is also one where workers are sent to dangerous jobs with little or no training. Where companies overseeing the work don’t always pay for medical bills if they get hurt, or even make sure that temps have access to the proper equipment. And where temps themselves aren’t always protected from workplace hazards, as in the case of Daniel Collazo Torres, who died when he was pulled into a hummus grinder at Nestle-owned Tribe Mediterranean Foods and crushed between two large rotating screws.

Temporary Workers: Roles, Rights, and Responsibilities

Companies employing temporary workers often hire staffing firms, which take on the legal responsibilities of hiring and paying the workers, withholding taxes, insurance coverage and more. This is a good option when you have an urgent need to boost productivity or are dealing with a seasonal rush, and it can be a great way to see how a potential employee works in your company’s specific environment before committing to hiring them full time.

However, companies may run into issues when it comes to determining whether a temporary worker is an actual employee and thus eligible for benefits, or an independent contractor who is not. If you decide to hire a temp, be clear in the interview about how long you plan to hire them for and the tasks they will perform.

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