Overview: Temporary employees go by a variety of names: contract employees; seasonal hires; interim employees; casual staff; freelancers; contingent employees; or, simply, temps. Temporary employees may work full time or part time. In addition, temporary employees may work for more than one employer at a time, resulting in a joint employment or co-employment relationship.
Recordkeeping and regulatory requirements may vary depending on an employer's relationship to the temporary employee, and on whether a joint employment relationship exists. In addition, certain temporary workers may need specific visas or work permits, especially when providing seasonal agricultural services. As with any employee compensation situation, fines and penalties await an employer that misclassifies a temporary worker or that fails to accurately record and pay any hours worked. In
Trends: Prioritizing the hiring of temporary employees may result in a number of strategic benefits. Hiring temporary employees may shorten initial onboarding and training cycles for those temporary hires who transition to full-time employees. In addition, hiring temporary employees may provide a means to control costs during fluctuating economic or business cycles.
Author: Marta Moakley, JD, Legal Editor
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HR guidance on managing temporary employees.