How Long Can a Temporary Worker be Legally Classified as “Temporary”?

Temporary employees offer staffing solutions when regular employees are absent for prolonged periods, as is the case with workers on maternity or disability leave. When hiring a temporary worker, businesses must comply with federal laws, which may cap a temporary worker’s time with a company at 1,040 hours per year. You also cannot hire the same employee for more than two consecutive years.

Temporary staffing agencies can greatly benefit from a strong understanding of the classifications of  temporary worker onboarding they coordinate for other businesses. Failure to comply with regulations could result in hefty penalties for these agencies and their clients. Let’s take a closer look at temporary employee classification requirements.

The Initial Identification

Typically, an agency may hire a temporary worker for a specified period not to exceed one year. However, projects may be extended up to a maximum of one additional year. Employers commonly obtain temporary employees through a temporary staffing agency. 

Temporary workers can work full time or part-time and accept multiple temporary positions through more than one agency at a time.

Permanent Employment Possibilities 

Sometimes, a temporary worker will receive permanent employment as a result of a successful temporary assignment. A done well-done can have huge rewards for them. If temporary workers are hired through temporary staffing agencies, temporary staffing agencies may sometimes be able to charge a fee if the worker is hired permanently. However, it is much more common for companies to hire temporary employees for a specific business purpose while avoiding the cost of hiring regular full-time, permanent employees. 

The Drawbacks

It is possible for temporary workers to experience a decrease in employment during a downturn economy when job levels decrease, but not necessarily. Another common issue that temporary workers face is the lack of benefits. In general, temporary workers do not receive any fringe benefits, such as healthcare and life insurance. However, temporary workers are entitled to collect Social Security benefits and unemployment compensation if need be. 

Other Important Considerations

Temporary staffing agencies hopefully are fully aware that temporary workers perform projects and tasks in a wide range of industries. This may include but is not limited to clerical, labor, education, information technology, and healthcare. As long as special projects require skilled workers and permanent employees leave for maternity, sick leave or disability, temporary workers will continue to fill the gaps in employment left behind.

About World Wide Specialty Programs

For the last 50 years, World Wide Specialty Programs has dedicated itself to providing the optimal products and solutions for the staffing industry. As the only insurance firm to be an ASA commercial liability partner, we are committed to that partnership and committed to using our knowledge of the industry to provide staffing firms with the best possible coverage. For more information about Staffing Professional Liability Insurance or any other coverage, we have available to protect your staffing business, give us a call at (800) 245-9653 to speak with one of our representatives.