Researchers from Temple University’s Social Justice Lawyering Clinic at the Sheller Center for Social Justice recently published a report that takes a closer look at how temporary employees are treated in the workforce. The report found that a large number of temporary workers are paid less than the federal minimum wage and are vulnerable to workplace injuries and financial hardship.
According to coauthors of the study, companies often hire temporary employees to avoid the responsibility of paying workers a competitive wage and ensuring a safe work environment. While temp workers can include educated computer consultants that generally get paid high wages, a growing number of temporary employees are refugees and immigrants who are poor and desperate for income.
The number of temporary employees has grown from 68,623 in 2001 to 113,680 in 2016, according to government records. Close to half of the temporary employees hired in 2016 worked in production, transportation, or warehousing.
According to American Staffing Association spokeswoman Michelle Snyder, the staffing industry argues that not only do they offer employees the opportunity to work, but also, they often hire their temporary workers as full-time employees. Snyder also said that there is an ethics code that members must sign and that the association has a safety alliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The Dark Side of the Temp Industry
According to the researchers, temporary employment agencies often exploit workers because they can be more desperate than other workers. Working conditions often range from unpleasant to potentially hazardous, yet employees do not always receive adequate safety training on steps to take to avoid illnesses or injuries.
In some cases, employers only provide safety information in English, which is not helpful if the employee only speaks Spanish. When employers do not take the time to ensure that their workers receive the proper safety training, it can have tragic consequences. Not all staffing agencies are guilty of taking advantage of or exploiting their workers, but the system is flawed, and it is the low-income, minority workers who are the most vulnerable.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Protect the Rights of Temporary Workers
If you or someone you know has been injured on the job, the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton are committed to protecting your rights, particularly if your safety has been compromised. All workers are entitled to a safe work environment and fair pay and we will work tirelessly to make sure that your rights are protected. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent workers’ compensation victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.