Employers, Staffing Agencies, and Employee Liability Concerns

There are many issues that may affect employer-employee relationships and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is just one of the things that has changed how employers look at potential job candidates. As the use of temporary workers increases, employers need to guard against the potential employee liability issues and other pitfalls of bringing in such workers.


Even though a staffing agency may be responsible for distributing temporary workers paychecks, experts say employers remain obligated to comply with state and federal employment laws, including discrimination statutes. There also are situations in which an employer could be required to provide benefits.


Hiring of temp workers is on the rise


After several months of decline in the number of temporary employees in the U.S. workforce, the figure hit a yearly low in July 2009 at 1.7 million. Since then though, the number has risen, hitting an estimated 1.9 million in December 2009 on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS does not track temporary workers or independent contractors hired directly by employers, a much smaller number than temp workers hired through agencies.


Observers say they have seen increased client interest in hiring temporary workers, and attorneys say temporary workers hired through staffing agencies are still considered to be employed by both, the agency and company, even though the agency pays the salary.