Law Unclear on When Temps Become Regulars

Posted by Sessions & Kimball |

Employee Rights Attorney

Mission Viejo, California

Q: I have been a temporary employee at a large company in the same position for nearly two years. I’ve heard that a temp can’t serve in the same position this long without being offered permanent employment. Is this true?

A: “There are no laws that strictly define when a temporary employee becomes a permanent employee.

“In some court cases, companies have been ordered to give temporary employees certain benefits enjoyed by permanent employees after a certain number of years. These cases are based on specific circumstances and do not apply to every situation.

“If you are a union member, a union contract may govern this issue. A government regulation may apply if you are a civil servant.

“Evaluate the company’s initial offer or letter to you, as well as relevant language in an employee handbook. It’s possible that the company may be governed by promises to you, or by a written policy detailing a time frame for making temporary employees permanent.

“You might also want to compare your treatment with that of other employees over the years. If the company is unduly delaying your transition, try to determine if it is for illegal reasons, such as discrimination.”