Employers often hire part-time workers or temporary to cover the increase in labour demand or seasonal fluctuations that sometimes occur in certain sectors. Most states define part-time employees as those who work less than 35 hours per week, in comparison with the full-time employees, who normally work 40 hours or more.
In general, part-time employees are paid hourly and must comply with the rules, policies and obligations of the company, such as performance goals, safety rules, and the business practices of the company. In spite of that, the part-time employees generally have limited benefits or have no benefit of the company, such as health benefits, vacation and sick leave, paid holidays and unemployment insurance, among others, unless state labor laws or the policies of the company so require.
According to the federal laws, part-time employees should receive the same treatment as full-time employees, according to the Law of fair Labor Standards (Fair Labor Standards Act, FLSA) regarding minimum wage, overtime pay, records management, and child labour. In addition, part-time employees are covered by the health and safety policies of the Administration of Occupational Safety and Health (Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA) regarding the injury, illness and occupational accidents related to the work. According to the Law of Security of the Retirement Income for Employees (Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”), part-time employees who work 1,000 hours or more during a calendar year may be eligible to access retirement benefits.
Temporary employees, often referred to as “temporary”, usually contracted to cover employees absent (such as those with maternity leave or disability), and temporary vacancies, or to fill gaps in the labour force of the company. The temporary employees can be hired directly or through a temporary employment agency, in which case the employee has a contract of lease with the company personnel selection, but is not an employee of the client company that uses their services. Generally, the temporary employment agencies will charge clients between 15 and 30 % more than the amount compensation received by the employee temporary, although some of these employees may wish to negotiate their hourly rate.
The temporary employees can be hired to work in various sectors, such as administrative, labor, education, information technology, and health. Some temporary jobs may lead to permanent employment, in which case the temporary employment agency may charge a fee if the worker receives a permanent contract. However, it is more common that companies hire temporary employees with a commercial purpose-specific, while avoiding the expense of hiring regular employees.
Temporary employees may work full-time or part-time, and can work for more than one agency at the same time. While they are not generally eligible to access the performance of the company, some temporary employment agencies offer employees with temporary health care benefits, among others. During an economic downturn, temporary employees are often the first to be dismissed, so that is not a condition of employment ideal in regards to job security.
Finally, in some states, companies that hire temporary employees are likely to be subject to questioning related federal discrimination and harassment, among other claims. In addition, the circumstances in which temporary employees may claim rights under the Act, Family and Medical leave, which grants the right to take a period of leave to care for a child, a spouse, a sick or an elderly parent, it depends on whether the company had any control over working conditions, selection and recruitment of the employee, creating an employee-employer relationship.
Usually, companies that need extra help during a season particularly, as is usually the holiday season, hiring seasonal employees to work part-time. For example, major retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Toys R’ Us and Best Buy, they hire thousands of seasonal employees every year to meet the increase in demand of purchases of the season. Seasonal employees may be hired in various sectors, such as retail, hotel, customer service, shipping/handling and sales, and have the right to receive a minimum wage and overtime.
The seasonal employment can offer unemployed people the opportunity to earn an income to pay the bills, for example, or earn money to buy christmas presents. Also, due to the fact that most of the seasonal work can be performed at night and on weekends, the regular employees can have a second income during a certain period of time as seasonal employees.
The laws related to the treatment, policies and employee benefits part-time, temporary or seasonal are applied to both the federal and state level. For more information on rights, policies and benefits of the employees, as they may apply to your specific case, see the labor laws of your state. Otherwise, if you have a labor dispute or believe that your rights have been violated, you should speak with a lawyer specializing in employment law in your area.