Your-Rights-as-a-Temporary-Worker-in-the-New-Post-COVID-Job-Market.jpg (2149×1159)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.

Leave a Reply

Lisseth Bayona


Education and Background

I am a Los Angeles native and daughter of Salvadorian immigrants. From an early age, my parents instilled the value of hard work and education in me and my two siblings. Their perseverance enabled each of us to graduate from college and earn professional degrees.

My interest and commitment to workers’ rights have roots in my parents’ experiences as undocumented workers in Los Angeles. Witnessing the challenges they faced inspired me to pursue a career where I can help individuals confronted with similar struggles. To help someone in those moments is very satisfying. I love connecting with people and learning about their stories. I believe that dignity in the workplace is a right of all workers, not a convenience or privilege reserved for employees of a certain race, gender, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Legal Experience

I received my J.D. from the University of Southern California (USC) Gould School of Law. While there, I served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Patrick J. Walsh of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, where I drafted a criminal judicial opinion. Also, while at Gould, I served as an extern for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. As a Criminal Division Extern, I had the opportunity to work closely with a trial team of Assistant U.S. Attorneys on a money laundering case which further sparked my interest in litigation.

Personal Interests

In my free time, I enjoy urban vegetable gardening, traveling, and spending time with my nephew and niece. I also love to spend time at San Onofre Beach learning to surf, although admittedly, I am not very good.



Hallie L. Von Rock

Attorney (SBN 233152)

Education and Background

I moved to the Bay Area from Washington after graduating high school. I had been accepted to UC Berkeley through a program where I could defer for two years while getting my California residency and attending community college, which was significant since I was paying for college on my own. I began working for Randall Aiman-Smith and Reed Marcy in 1996 as an office manager while taking night classes. My first foray into the legal world was soon after starting at the firm when I was ready to transfer to UC Berkeley. Rather than accepting my resident status, the Board of Regents took the position that California residency required a student to be in California “two calendar years.” Randall and Reed took up my case with the same verve as they helped their actual clients and I got the chance to comb through the UC Berkeley library to read their codes and regulations to support my position. In that experience, I learned what is was like to feel helpless against a big organization and then to have dedicated attorneys in my corner to take up my cause.

After a break to pursue my major in art history, I went to UC Hastings College of Law and continued working with Randall and Reed. Having worked together now for over 25 years, we have a unique ability to work collaboratively and finish each other’s sentences. I have strived throughout my career to make a difference in the lives of our clients. At the end of the day, if I am helping someone to get compensation for losses they suffered, then I know that all the work put into a case has been worth it.

Legal Experience

I have extensive experience in civil litigation and class action cases, including conducting discovery and depositions, calculating damages analysis, preparing motions for certification, writing appellate documents, and overseeing claims administration. We have handled several class actions against retailers where plaintiffs claimed they were forced to purchase clothing to wear to work and were not compensated for these purchases, including against Abercrombie & Fitch, Hugo Boss, Armani Exchange, Uniqlo, Dollar Tree, and Ross. Recently, I was trial counsel in a defamation claim against Bank of America on behalf of a former employee who claimed the Bank blacklisted her with future employers. The jury found Bank of America liable, including for punitive damages.

Personal Interests

Aiman-Smith & Marcy has sponsored me in the Boston Marathon and New York Marathon. When I race, I often wear a “Rockstar Ronan” shirt to support research for childhood cancer through The Ronan Thompson Foundation.


University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 1999

Hastings College of the Law, University of California, J.D., 2004

Randall Aiman-Smith

Abogado (SBN 124599)

Aiman-Smith & Marcy. Oakland consumer fraud attorneys.

Educación y antecedentes

Fui afortunado. A pesar de no haber terminado la escuela secundaria o la universidad, pude -aunque con mucho trabajo- ser admitido y sobresalir en una de las mejores escuelas de derecho del país: La Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Berkeley. Mientras estuve allí, tuve el privilegio de ser editor de la California Law Review y miembro del Moot Court Board, asesorando en la redacción de escritos y en la defensa de apelaciones a otros estudiantes. Después de salir de la escuela de derecho, en mis primeros años de práctica, enseñé la escritura legal y la defensa de apelación en la Universidad de California, Hastings College of the Law. También, a lo largo de los años, he sido presentador en eventos de educación legal continua.

Experiencia legal

He sido abogado durante 35 años. He dedicado mi práctica exclusivamente a representar a empleados, consumidores e inversores en los tribunales estatales y federales de primera instancia y en los tribunales de apelación. Me gusta ir a los tribunales por mis clientes y he llevado muchos casos con jurado en los tribunales estatales y federales.

¿Ejemplos? En 2010, fui la abogada principal, junto con los otros abogados del bufete, en el caso Williams v. Union Pacific Railroad donde, después de cuatro años de preparación, el bufete obtuvo un veredicto del jurado de 1.670.000 dólares para una empleada afroamericana. En Rivero v. Surdyka, fui el abogado principal en el juicio y la apelación de un caso de derechos civiles que duró 15 años, incluyendo un juicio completo y tres apelaciones al Noveno Circuito, concluyendo finalmente con una sentencia para los demandantes de más de 2.300.000 dólares. Estos casos ilustran el lema del bufete: compromiso – resultados. Hay que comprometerse con un caso, a veces durante mucho tiempo, para obtener el resultado que el cliente merece.

No siempre ganamos en el juicio. Cuando eso ocurre, el compromiso significa llevar el caso al siguiente nivel y recurrirlo. En el caso Rivero, antes mencionado, eso fue lo que ocurrió: el tribunal desestimó el caso -habíamos perdido- pero apelamos y conseguimos una victoria para nuestros clientes que mantuvimos a través de dos apelaciones más. Desde entonces, el bufete ha conseguido muchas victorias en apelación que reivindican los derechos de los empleados y los consumidores.

A lo largo de los años he sido abogado de los demandantes en numerosos casos individuales y acciones colectivas. Puede sonar cursi, o difícil de creer, pero después de todo este tiempo, y después de todas las grandes experiencias que he tenido, mi parte favorita de ser abogado es cuando consigo dar un cheque a mi cliente.



Facultad de Derecho, Universidad de California, Berkeley, J.D., 1986