Temporary Work Assignment

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The impact to productivity and morale is of particular import when temporary workers work side by side core employees doing the same or similar work.

For similar reasons, in those situations where an employer regularly hires members of its temporary workforce, there is risk attached to keeping the temporary employee in the workforce once they know they will not be hired.

Even the American Staffing Association (ASA) weighed in on the issue by taking up the concerns of both the employer and their interim employees who were often negatively impacted by an arbitrary assignment ending.

In a series of white papers, ASA challenged the employer community regarding their assignment limit policies claiming that “the length of a temporary assignment” is only one, of multiple factors, important to establishing the employee- employer status and does not in and of itself mitigate the risk of misclassification.

We are yet to see if MS can effectively enforce this policy without exception as we know first hand the negative impact of losing a valued worker – even if the are not an employee hired directly.

While higher wage temporary or contract workers often prefer “longer term project based assignments”, many lower wage temporary workers consider themselves negatively impacted when asked to remain as temporary employees for long periods without being converted to a regular hire.It is the University's intent to provide family-friendly policies and practices aimed at supporting employees to balance work and family life.Deans, directors, department heads, and other supervisors shall make every reasonable effort to accommodate the needs of employees, to the greatest possible extent, and in a manner consistent with the effective and efficient operation of the University.Making “length of assignment” a matter of company policy rather than a decision left up to the discretion of an individual manager or supervisor, mitigates the risk of an uninvited claim of disparate treatment.At the same time, an across the board “length of assignment” policy, can reduce the resources manager’s have available to them to achieve important business goals.Employers want the peace of mind that comes from knowing that the applicable wages, payroll taxes and benefits costs are being calculated and paid by an employer other than themselves.Many local staffing companies, PACE included, have created low cost “payroll service” packages for employers who have a need for third party employer services for interim workers they have recruited directly.In December 2000, the now infamous Microsoft settlement awarded 97 million dollars to temporary workers who were re-classified as core (common law) employees (instead of temps).That re-class ruling resulted in 8-12K MS “temps” immediately becoming “benefit eligible” – a hefty cost even for a company like Microsoft.Because they were uncomfortable allowing a temporary or contract worker to have long-term access to their proprietary information and systems, they decided to place limits on the number of months an employee could access their systems without a break in service.They decided that after 18 months a temporary or contract worker needed to be removed from their assignment, forcing an arbitrary lay off of any contractors reaching that benchmark.


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