COVID-19 turned the job market upside-down. Immediately before, we were deep entrenched in the War for Talent, as employers compete for a limited job market. Now, over 40 million people have been displaced from their jobs in the US alone. With many businesses temporarily or permanently closed, those millions are looking for any jobs that are available.
One of the most practical choices for working during this global crisis is to seek temporary work. Not all businesses are adapted to the new normal, and jobs are opening, developing, and changing every day. Taking a temporary role ensures income during the crisis until each professional can find their next post-COVID ideal job.
Defending Your Temporary Worker Rights
Temporary employees, those seeking independent temporary roles and those working through a temp agency, are among the most often taken advantage of. This is because temporary employees often don’t have the time, spare funds, or foothold in the company to defend their benefits, rights, fair pay, and fair treatment. Categorizing a long-term employee as temporary is also a classic ploy to avoid offering complete employee benefits.
This means that temporary employees need to be aware of their own rights and prepare to defend them, if necessary. We can help. To start with, let’s review the rights every temporary worker has that should be present and respected at all times.
Rights of Temp and Permanent Employees
Know your rights as a temporary worker in California so you can defend them.
– Minimum Wage
You have the right to be paid based on the state of California’s minimum wage standards. Tips or no tips, your pay must be at least $12/hr.
– Overtime Pay
If you work more than 40 hours a week, you warrant time-and-a-half, also known as overtime pay. Any number of hours in a week over 40 must, legally, be paid as overtime.
– Paid Sick Time
Being temporary does not make you exempt from sick leave. You have the same right to sick leave. The formula for a whole year is 24 hours (3 full 8 hour workdays) of sick leave. For a temporary worker, the formula is 1 hour of paid sick time earned for ever 30 hours of work, including overtime.
– Workplace Safety & Workers Compensation Insurance
Temporary employees also must be kept safe, the same as normal employees. You have a right to a safe workplace. If you do get injured on the job or while performing work tasks, you have the same right to worker’s compensation insurance. An employer who says you are not covered by worker’s comp is breaking the law.
– Unemployment Benefits
Your employer must also contribute to your unemployment insurance so that when you are between jobs, you can justly retrieve your unemployment benefits. This, again, is exactly the same as a long-term employee. Same laws, same rules.
– Discrimination-Free Employment
Likewise, you have the right to be hired and managed in a non-discriminatory way. Your personal facts like age, gender, family, lifestyle, and elements of your personal life should not factor into how you are treated at work. Certainly, these factors should not influence decisions or negatively impact how you are treated. If there is a transgression, you can and should defend your right against discrimination.
Rightful Upgrade to Permanent Employee
The last thing that temporary employees need to know about their rights is the right to be upgraded to a permanent or long-term employee. If you have been working for the same primary employer for a full year or if your employment is extended without a specified end-date beyond a year, then you should legally be qualified and given benefits as a permanent employee.
Are you a temporary employee or considering temporary employment? Don’t let your employee rights be casually denied by careless or corrupt employers. Here at Aiman-Smith and Marcy, we are dedicated to helping employees defend their rights, compensation, and fair treatment in the workplace. Contact us today to find out more about your rights as a temporary employee or what you can do if those rights are denied.