One of the major concerns of temp employees is their rights to protection against sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Temporary employees often feel left out and unaware of what measures they could take if they are a victim of sexual abuse or discrimination.
If a temp employee is harassed at the workplace or if the temp staffing agency does something illegal, temp staffers are usually faced with a dilemma of whether to complain. This is because, more often than not, those who end up complaining can easily be replaced, according to sexual harassment lawyers who can be found right here.
The fear of retaliation
The staffing business is competitive and the last thing an agency would want is to jeopardize its contract with a client as it can easily be replaced with another firm. In addition, if a temp worker has reason to complain more than a few times, there is always the risk of the worker being denied assignments. These are the major reasons temp workers are always concerned about. However, it is important to understand that temp workers are entitled to the same protection as regular employees in the workplace.
According to sexual harassment attorneys, there are several instances where companies place female temp staffers in hostile work environments. Some also fail to address complaints of sexual harassment or discrimination and retaliation during job assignments, and are also notorious for making assignments gender based even though women temp employees may be competent enough to take up the task.
In several lawsuits, one of the common complaints is that women were not given the same opportunities as their male counterparts that could potentially lead to a permanent position in the company. Such lawsuits have often resulted in companies agreeing to settle the lawsuit rather than face a jury.
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EEOC guidelines – Temp workers have equal rights
There are several points above that temp workers ought to take note. First, you are entitled to the same protection at the workplace as regular employees, according to the law. As per Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines, temp workers qualify as employees of the staffing agency and their client and therefore cannot discriminate against workers based on sex, race, religion, disability, and national origin.
As per the EEOC, it is mandatory for temp agencies to assign jobs in a non-discriminatory manner. In addition, the company that contracts the temp agency must treat temp employees non-discriminatorily and take immediate measures on becoming aware of any client discriminating against one of the temp workers.
Employers can be held liable
Sexual harassment attorneys reiterate that under federal sexual harassment laws, Title VII applies to the employers who contract temp workers from staffing firms. Therefore, if you are being harassed or discriminated against, the employer can be held liable and may share the liability with the staffing firm. However, the onus of upholding the law in their work environment is that of the employer.
So if your assigned superior asks for sexual favors in return for a salaried position or full time job or your co-workers pass unwanted sexual comments, you have every right as a temp employee to complain and seek protection. Make sure to report the behavior to the employer’s human resources department and the staffing agency as well. Don’t hesitate to seek legal advice immediately as well from a sexual harassment lawyer.
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