Magazine article Personnel Journal

The Possible Legal Entanglements of Motivating Temps

Magazine article Personnel Journal

The Possible Legal Entanglements of Motivating Temps

Article excerpt

Companies that use long-term temporary workers from staffing agencies need to be aware of the legal obligations and risks involved in establishing programs designed to motivate those workers. These risks include IRS audits and penalties, and Department of Labor liabilities. The chief concern, according to Trene Cohen, CEO of Corporate Staffing Alternatives Inc., is in not violating the agency's status as employer of record.

"Most companies don't have a problem until the temps have been there for more than six months," she says. At that point, the more you treat them like regular employees, the harder it'll be to convince the Department of Labor or the IRS they aren't, or they shouldn't be, your employees.

In terms of motivating employees, Cohen explains employers should be careful not to:

* Offer temps company business cards with their names imprinted on them

* Put the temporaries' names on their office doors

* Extend special recognition awards directly to temporaries

* Directly invite the temps to company parties or picnics or offer free meal tickets. …

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