The temporary workforce is rapidly growing in America, even as permanent jobs remain hard to come by. When the 2007 to 2009 recession ended and the economy began to improve (albeit slowly), there was a dramatic rise in the number of temp workers. In fact, temporary work has been one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. economy.
Temporary workers should be people who work only for a very limited period of time. Temp workers may have a job that lasts for a limited duration because they are moving onto other things, or because the company wants to test them out in a trial run without taking on the risk of hiring someone full time. Temp workers are usually hired through an agency, which is paid by the employer. The temp workers get few or no workplace benefits and employers don’t have to buy workers’ compensation insurance or handle payroll taxes. The temp agency is generally supposed to take care of workers’ comp insurance and other logistical issues.
Unfortunately, things too often don’t work out that way. People are working for months, years or even decades at temp jobs. When these workers get hurt, they may have limited recourse to secure compensation. An experienced workplace accident law firm can help injured employees recover compensation.
U.S. Lagging in Safety Protections for Temp Workers
As the temp market has grown and expanded, unfortunately the regulatory landscape has not kept pace. The United States reportedly has some of the “weakest labor protections for temp workers in the developed world. The U.S. ranks 41 out of 43 developed and emerging economies when it comes to protecting temp workers.
U.S. protections were compared against other countries including 34 of the world’s industrialized nations and did not fare well. The organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) compared the data on worker protections worldwide.
In South Korea, for example, there is a restriction on the length of temporary assignments. They can last for just two years, after which time an employer is required to hire the worker as a regular employee. Likewise, in Chile, temp agencies can be closed down as a result of putting a temp worker in danger or failing to pay wages.
No such protections exist in the United States. Some temps have reportedly worked for as long as 11 years in their “transient” job without ever actually getting hired (and thus getting access to benefits that are restricted to employees). Temporary workers have also been assigned to some of the most dangerous jobs on worksites. As a result, temps have as much as three times the rate of amputations on-the-job due to workplace injuries.
Steps need to be taken to provide protection, especially as the temporary workforce continues to grow. Temp workers who do suffer injury should speak with an experienced attorney to pursue a damage claim and protect their rights.
Call Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your workers’ compensation claim– (617) 777-7777.
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