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What Rights Do Temps Have?

What Rights Do Temps Have?

Eve Tahmincioglu | CareerDiva

August 03, 2010

Well, not as much of an asset as the salad it turns out. (I’m going to be referring to the episode as SaladGate from now on thanks to @cspod that coined the phrase on Twitter this morning after reading this post.)

So, Michael wants to know what his rights are. I contacted a labor lawyer I respect, Hanan Kolko, and he told me Michael doesn’t have much of a case.

“Legally, it sounds like they guy is out of luck,” Kolko said, adding that if he had a contract that bound him to the company for a certain period of time, or he feels his employer discriminated against him for some reason, things would be different.

But for contract workers like Michael, they have few rights in the work place. There are some groups trying to change that.

Such transient workers have no protections and benefits of being full-time employees, including unemployment insurance and some labor laws. Contingent workers typically don’t get sick or vacation days, retirement accounts or health coverage. “Companies want a more flexible work force, but we have to think about what’s the next way we’re going to protect people,” said Sara Horowitz, founder of Freelancers Unions.

Her group wants laws on the books protecting you temps, freelancers and contractors. But such protections may be a long time coming.

For now, people like Michael have little recourse when they face such injustices.

But Kolko suggested he go back and try to explain himself again to the company. “Under the facts you describe, the guy should make a pitch to HR that his firing was not fair. While HR is normally toothless, these are pretty strong facts. He has nothing to lose by trying that route.”

Maybe someone at the company has some sense. Even Julius Caesar would have shown this poor guy some mercy.

If you have an advice for Michael, pass it along. He’s weighing his options as we speak.

This article was originally published on CareerDiva.