Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Did Temp Agency Misclassify Work?

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Did Temp Agency Misclassify Work?

Article excerpt

The AFL-CIO has charged Labor Ready, one of the nation's largest temporary employment agencies, with misclassifying work performed by its employees to secure lower workers' compensation premiums.

An analysis by the Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) of the AFL-CIO contends that Labor Ready has been paying lower "white-collar" premium rates for a significant share of its employees in two states, even though the company has consistently described its work force as "primarily blue-collar" workers. Workers' comp premium rates are considerably higher for blue-collar workers.

Labor Ready's "customers are primarily businesses in freight handling, warehousing, landscaping, construction and light manufacturing industries" that "require workers for lifting, hauling, cleaning, assembling, digging, painting and other types of manual or unskilled work," according to the publicly traded company's 10-K annual reports filed with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.

When BCTD reviewed workers' comp records in Ohio and Washington, it found that the temp agency has been making premium payments at lower, white-collar rates for many of its workers. …

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