FMLA and Temporary Workers: Who’s the Boss?
Do you currently have a staffing service filling your temporary workforce needs, or are you considering it? If so, make sure you are clear on what your responsibilities are should a temporary worker request time off under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Who’s the boss, really? You or the staffing company?
Both of you, actually. Temps are considered joint employees, which means, as a host company, you must count any temps as part of your total number of employees when determining FMLA coverage. The time your temps spent working for your business might also be counted toward FMLA eligibility, depending upon how a particular worker was hired.
But wait, there’s more. Even if the staffing agency your temp works for is the company that must take care of all the required notices, certifications and tracking of leave taken, as well as the restoration of the temp to the same position (or an equivalent one) when that leave ends, you could still be liable for interfering with a temp’s FMLA rights. That’s because, as the host employer, you cannot interfere with the staffing agency’s obligation to restore the position upon return. The position in question is “available” under the FMLA even if a different temp has been hired as a replacement during the leave.
All that being said, using a reliable, professional staffing service is still a great solution for many small to mid-size companies. At hireVision, we offer Staffing Services Management as one of our many HR Partnering Services. This program offers you trusted oversight of your vendors for fulfillment of your temporary or temp-to-hire positions. And our team of human resources professionals help keep you in compliance with FMLA and other government requirements so you can focus on what you do best: running your business.