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Whose Temp Are They?

September 12th, 2017

“I often hire someone as a temp to do a bit of contract work for me. The job usually only lasts from 2-4 weeks and I pay them an agreed-upon amount. Is this the same as the independent contractors you’ve written about?”

Your HR Survival Tip

Probably not. We consider a temp to be someone’s employee who is assigned to a company for jobs that may be for short or long periods of time. While you can have your own pool of temps available to you, most are employed by an agency and you contract with the agency for that worker.
On the other hand, we consider an independent contractor to be a small business. They offer their services to you, invoice you when payment is due, and carry their own liability insurance. Plus, their fees are at risk if you aren’t pleased with the work they do.

Unless you are getting your temps through an agency, you need to put these workers on your payroll as you do with any other employee. Yes, if they don’t qualify as a business, they are employees. Only non-profits can have volunteers… everyone else is a business, an employee, or unemployed. You will always pay an employee or a business for any services you need.

There can be big fines for misclassifying these temps. Not only are you not paying payroll taxes on them but you aren’t providing paid sick leave. If you’re not prepared to put these workers on your payroll, hire or payroll them through a legitimate temp agency so you are legally compliant. Let us know if you need a referral.

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