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California temp workers fare better than other temps

If you are a temporary worker in California, you are in a better position now than you were just a few years ago. Additionally, you enjoy more protections from workplace abuses than many of your counterparts in other states around the country.

Pros and cons of temporary jobs

According to the federal Labor Department, temporary jobs are those that last no longer than a year. For some job-seekers, temporary positions adequately fill unexpected gaps in regular employment.

Other appropriate uses of these short-term positions include:

  • Staffing of seasonal or intermittent workloads
  • Filling jobs that terminate upon completion of specific goals, workloads or projects

Additional pros and cons of taking on this type of limited employment for some workers is that there are no probationary periods to serve, while still being eligible for Unemployment Compensation and Social Security benefits, as well as leave.

Those working temporary employment jobs do not get reassigned, transferred or promoted to other jobs.

California's change in laws

Almost three years ago, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1897 into law. Under its provisions, companies are liable for underpaying and endangering workers.

Subcontractors that formerly got away with egregious safety or payment violations now found themselves having to pay for their abusive actions.

American businesses have been turning to temp workers to fill gaps in disparate industries like food processing and warehousing. Profit margins swell when corporations outsource general labor to temp firms that pay far less than the going rates.

That changed in California in 2014 by preventing corporate behemoths from dodging their responsibilities. Client employers now share civil and legal liabilities with labor contractors to ensure that fair wages get paid to workers.

Employers can no longer pass off onto labor contractors the sole repercussions of workplace safety hazards and liabilities.

Labor unions like the Teamsters lauded passage of the legislation. Their target was Taylor Farms, a Tracy, California food processor that is a primary supplier for the fast food industry. Temp laborers associated with Taylor Farms typically toiled processing foods for companies like KFC, Subway and McDonald's.

If you feel that you were underpaid or exploited in other ways while working at a temporary position, or if your employer negligently exposed you to dangerous job hazards, don't take the law into your own hands.

Pursue civil justice through the California Civil Courts, as often, justice must be won.

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