Have you ever worked a temp job—or thought about giving temp work a whirl? Whether you get hired for just one day’s worth of work, or you come on board indefinitely, a temporary job is a boon to the under- or unemployed worker. Temp jobs are perfect for picking up some extra cash or keeping you financially afloat while you search for a permanent position. For folks who are new to the workforce, temping is a fantastic, even fun way to experience various employers and environments. It can even provide you the knowledge you need to create and develop your own career goals.
But what happens if you are injured on a temp job? Read on to find out about your rights and the company’s responsibility when it comes to temporary employment.
Temps Work in All Sectors
Many people think of temp jobs as white-collar positions—perhaps because of The Office’s Ryan Howard, who started at Dunder-Mifflin in a temp capacity. However, there are temp positions across all sectors of the workforce, including some dangerous blue-collar industries like warehousing and manufacturing.
Before the pandemic, jobs filled through temp agencies were increasing at a rate four times faster than that of general employment growth. In the U.S., that translated to about three million temporary and contract employees.
The rate of on-the-job injuries incurred by temps is also higher than that of people who hold permanent positions.
Among the Nation’s Most Vulnerable Workers
According to the nonprofit newsroom ProPublica, which analyzed millions of workers’ compensation cases, temp employees face a significantly greater risk of workplace accidents and injuries. Here in California, temps were a whopping 50% more likely to get hurt on the job than their permanent counterparts.
What’s more, under California law, temp workers can nevertheless be placed with companies that have safety violations on their records.
There’s a proverbial perfect storm of reasons for this untenably high rate. First, temps rarely receive adequate safety training. There simply isn’t time. The frenetic pace on a factory floor means that temps might be unfamiliar with the machinery they’re asked to use. In the highly competitive staffing industry, agencies turn a blind eye to shortcuts, while individual workers keep quiet about dangerous conditions for fear of being summarily replaced.
Repercussions and Recourse
Unfortunately, a temp worker who’s hurt on the job might get lost in the shuffle or suffer unnecessarily, as the staffing agency and the host company play hot-potato with medical bills and argue about who’s at fault. And workers’ compensation claims are difficult enough without factoring in the special circumstances of a temp arrangement.
Some temps make a decent living, but others, particularly in blue-collar sectors, struggle to make ends meet; whether they work that day determines what—or even if—they’ll feed their children that evening. Often, they literally cannot afford to be sick or sustain an injury. An on-the-job accident could be devastating to these laborers’ lives and livelihoods.
All hope is not lost, however. There is recourse for temp workers who are injured on the job. To learn about eligibility for workers’ compensation or to discuss the specifics of your situation, contact Accident Defenders by filling out this contact form or calling 323-591-2829.