Author: Marta Moakley, XpertHR Legal Editor
One of the most challenging aspects of staffing a productive and profitable organization concerns striking a balance between employee compensation costs and fulfilling client expectations. Often, an employer strikes this balance by increasing staff on a seasonal basis - especially in industries such as hospitality or retail.
Depending on an organization's specific needs, an employer may need to hire and train hundreds or thousands of employees under strict time constraints. Although the practical consequences of hiring, managing and onboarding a large number of workers may be overwhelming to hiring managers and supervisors, an employer must ensure that proper recruiting and hiring procedures (e.g., background checks) are followed in order to mitigate any liability risk.
As part of the hiring process, an employer should ensure compliance with applicable wage and hour laws, including classification under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Once a seasonal employee is on the job, a supervisor should ensure that the proper training is provided to all new hires regarding safety and health procedures.
However, an employer should be aware that seasonal employees may be included in calculations for certain requirements under employee benefits or leave laws. In addition, an employee's rights under certain laws (e.g., equal employment opportunity or military leave) are not lessened simply because an employee holds a temporary, seasonal or contingent position. Finally, the use of a staffing agency in conjunction with filling open positions does not alter the employer's responsibilities with respect to ensuring a safe and fair workplace or preventing security breaches - even if a joint employer relationship exists.
Using XpertHR's various Tools and resources will aid in increasing overall compliance and mitigating risk.