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What Rights Do Temps Have?

What Rights Do Temps Have?

Eve Tahmincioglu | CareerDiva

August 03, 2010

Contract, freelance and temp workers are the second-class citizens of the workforce.

That’s just how it is folks. You’re not a full-time employee with health benefits, sick time and vacations days. And adding insult to injury, an employer can kick you out the door when ever the heck he or she wants.

Michael D., a long-time contract engineer for a major computer company on the West Coast, recently went through this indignity. But his kick-out-the-door was worse than most. He was ousted because he ate a manager’s salad by mistake, a Caesar salad to be exact.

I’m not kidding. I called the contracting firm that got him the job in the first place, and they say the guy had a great record with the company until the salad incident.

I suspect these kind of bizarre stories will become a workplace mainstay because the number of temp and contract workers is exploding thanks to employers who want to do anything they can to cut the biggest expense on their balance sheet — workers. I recently wrote about this growing trend for MSNBC.

But Michael’s story is particularly disturbing.

He worked in an office that often put left-over food from parties, or meetings in conference rooms. On this fateful day, he went in and got some of a huge salad he thought was destined for the trash. But it actually belonged to the senior vice president of finance in his department.

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