How to I obtain compensation as a temp worker?

The use of temporary workers in America, as our readers know, has increased significantly in recent years. At present, there are roughly 3 million temp employees in America, a 28 percent increase from 2010 to 2012. While this is a positive situation for employers, it generally isn't for provisional workers, who miss out on security and important benefits.

Not only that, but impermanent workers also have a higher risk of injury than permanent employees. Part of the reason for this is that they are not always provided the safety training they need to avoid workplace accidents. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the agency responsible for overseeing workplace safety regulations, is aware of the issue, as well as the fact that there is sometimes confusion as to who is responsible for recording short-term workers' work-related injuries.

According to a booklet released by OSHA on the issue, the party that directly manages the work of temporary employees has the primary duty to record any injuries. While there are some arrangements where this would be the staffing agency, more often than not, it is the client company.

The law concerning compensation for provisional workers is not consistent from state to state. Often, workers' compensation is available through the staffing agency, though agreements between staffing agencies and their clients can tweak the situation a bit. In some cases, the client company can be sued for personal injury by an injured temp worker, and in other cases they can't. Usually workers' comp precludes the possibility of personal injury litigation, but there can be exceptions.

It is important for injured short-term workers to uncover their rights and the best way to proceed in obtaining the monetary support they need after an accident. To this end, an experienced workers' compensation attorney is a valuable resource.

Source: Human Resource Executive Online, "Temporary Workers, Risky Situations," Andrew R. Mcllvaine, April 9, 2014.