Temporary workers make up a major segment of America’s workforce today. In fact, as of June 2013, there were more than 2.7 million temp workers in this country – more than the U.S. has ever seen. Overall, almost one-fifth of the total job growth since the end of the recession in mid-2009 has been in the temporary employment sector and, according to the American Staffing Association, one tenth of all U.S. workers finds a job through a staffing agency.
If you are one of the millions of temp workers in this country, you may be unsure of your employment rights, including protections against discrimination, eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits, and wage and hour rights. Temporary workers can rest assured: while you may not have the same job security that full-time employees have, you do have a number of employment rights and protections.
First, injured workers – including temp workers – are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for any work-related injuries or illnesses. Whether workers’ compensation benefits are provided by the staffing agency or the host company varies from state to state, but most states – including Illinois – require that the staffing agency provide workers’ compensation benefits. Under the Day and Temporary Labor Services Act, Illinois temp agencies are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage for all employees and can be fined for the failure to secure workers’ compensation insurance.
Additionally, Illinois requires staffing agencies that place workers on a daily or temporary basis in manufacturing, construction, and other non-clerical positions to register with the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) and comply with various employment standards.
Anti-discrimination and wage/hour laws also apply to temp workers. Because temp workers are considered employees of the staffing agency, the placement company cannot discriminate in its hiring or placement practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability. Not only are employees – including temporary employees – protected from workplace harassment and discrimination, but they are also protected from workplace retaliation. Workplace retaliation occurs any time an employer punishes an employee for asserting his or her legal rights, including filing a claim for workers’ compensation.
If you were injured in a work-related accident or believe that you were the victim of employment discrimination or retaliation, you should consult with an attorney who is knowledgeable about workers’ compensation and employment laws, experienced handling workers’ compensation and employment claims, and dedicated to protecting employee rights.
The Chicago workers’ rights lawyers at Ankin Law Office, LLC are dedicated to protecting employees who suffered an on-the-job injury or were the victim of workplace retaliation. We are committed to helping all workers, including temp workers, who are injured on the job obtain full and fair recovery for their injuries, including workers’ compensation benefits and any personal injury damages in a third party lawsuit. Because we take cases on a contingency fee basis, you pay nothing unless you win.
Contact our office at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers.