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Can temporary workers make discrimination claims?

It is common for employers to believe that temporary employees have less rights when it comes to making claims about discrimination and unfair dismissal. This was the case until relatively recently.

However in 2015, the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals made the decision to extend the definition of the employment relationship to temporary employees as well as permanent employees. This means that both temporary employees who are hired internally and temporary employees who are hired by staffing companies are also protected from discrimination in the state of California.

How could this law affect employers?

The processes that have been in place for temporary employees may not take into account the potential for discrimination claims. For example, it might be common procedure to dismiss temporary workers at very short notice, or change the role that they are required to do. While these actions can be valid, they may be interpreted as discriminatory based on the circumstances. Therefore, employers may find themselves in costly discrimination lawsuits.

It is very important that employers make sure that all the appropriate training and processes are in place to prevent discriminatory practices taking place when it comes to temporary workers. Investing in a good infrastructure that treats temporary workers with the same respect and gives the same anti-discrimination rights as permanent employees will prove to be worthwhile in the long run.

If you are an employer in Pennsylvania who wants to avoid costly temporary worker discrimination lawsuits, it is important that you conduct thorough research into the strategies that you can integrate into your workplace.

Source: Guardian HR, "Employers Can Be Liable For Discrimination Against Temporary Workers," accessed May 11, 2018

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