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Maybe some of you brighter people can help me with a puzzlement.


I was hired as a temp by a large company three months ago. I don't work through a temp agency, but get paid directly by the company, work more than full-time and have no benefits.


While perusing all the paperwork from my hiring date, I found no mention of my temp status. Everything appears to treat me as a regular FT employee. I've attended all the dull orientation, training and done all the red tape my fellow workers despise. My co-workers are stunned that I do the same work, eat the same BS and have a key to the shop, cash register and other responsibilities while being a mere temp.


I emailed HR requesting clear documentation of my temp status but received no reply. There are many explanations swirling in my peabrain, but would enjoy hearing others.


What's up with this crapola?


P.S. I hired on as a temp, and I'm not suggesting I shouldn't get what I signed on for. I'm just puzzled why I can't get my status clearly documented.

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P.S. I hired on as a temp, and I'm not suggesting I shouldn't get what I signed on for. I'm just puzzled why I can't get my status clearly documented.


Because it's cheaper to keep you in the temp-permanent limbo.


If they hired you as a permanent worker they would have to assume all the responsibilities that come along with the permanent employee status. So they keep you as a temp worker for an indefinite ammount of time...


Basically, you get temp. pay/benefits while being a permanent worker. I don't know how common that is in the US, but it is extremely common in Mexico.

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That is what I hired on for, and fully understand. I've temped at various jobs many times.


My puzzlement is about the lack of clear documentation. Most employers are crystal-clear about an employee's temp status. Some others here have hired in as temps, and were told they weren't temps at some point, but full employees. In those cases, the employee was never told until many months after the change of status.


I simply wonder why it's such a secret.

BTW I plan to leave this company anyway.

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This is a very hot button issue right now in employment law. There have been a number of high profile lawsuits against companies (Microsoft, MTV, etc) that hired "temps" so they wouldn't have to pay them benefits- and then treated them like permanent employees, sometimes for years.


The law is pretty gray in that area, so lots of companies take advantage of that fact.


What stood out for me in your post is that your hiring paperwork makes no mention of your temporary status nor, I assume, gives a time frame for your temporary employment.


Most temporary work is done through an employment agency (I'm sure you know all this) so they are the ones that pay you, etc.


If you are doing temporary work for a company, and signed a hiring agreement calling you an employee, and giving no date for the finish of the work nor termed it temporary, and being paid directly by the company, then you are an employee and are entitled to benefits.


It's weird that HR has not returned your e-mail. I'd give someone in HR a call and ask them to sit down with you to go over your employment paperwork.

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Yes I would call HR and stay on the phone until you get someone.


Normally a paystub will indicate a FT Regular Employee or not. What do your paystubs reflect? Any indicator there? There is an HR database that exists at the company that will inform you (well most companies would have one unless this is a small one) - whether you have access to it or not depends on the company. Even if you are temporary you should have a log in to the company benefits website because even temps sometimes have a nominal benefit to check on - such as an employee discount if in retail or something of that nature...definitely get a call into the HR Dept.

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I am surprised by this - I would have thought they would have NOT wanted you to have permanent status in any way, shape or form because they would have been liable for sickness, benefits etc. Maybe it's because they're just rubbish, but actually this seems to be in your favour rather than theirs - but I'm from the UK, where temps have little security really, and contract work is made very clear that it IS contract work.


Hmmm. Maybe you're doing such a terrific job that they've sneaked you on the permanent payroll and hope you don't notice that you now have to give them x weeks/months notice, and can't just up sticks and go? I would definitely get clarification from HR, stick to your guns because this is odd.

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I would go in person to the HR department (phone being the second choice.) Don't be pushy or upset, but simply state that you would like a copy of your temp status documentation. Sometimes we forget that we are dealing with a human and it's easy to ignore an email or even a phone message. If you are told that it will take some time (more than one should wait), ask if it's ok if you return tomorrow (or whatever day/time seems appropriate) to pick it up. Possibly if you are helpful with the HR department, they will be helpful to you!


I can't guess why it wasn't documented appropriately (assuming that is the case). You mentioned that you have temped before, so what is the standard documentation? I would ask for this. Certainly you know what you signed on for, but should know the details.


Good luck!

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I work in a small shop far from headquarters and can't go to HR during working hours. All contact with HQ comes from fax and email.


I'll try the phone today. BTW, I'm not known for being agitated. LOL.

When I've temped in the past, my status is documented as such.

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Sounds to me like they are just lax and unprofessional about paperwork, and also explotative of their staff. It's your right as an employee, surely, to know exactly where you stand? Were you not hired for a specific contracted period of work? Start date, finish date?

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They gave me no expiration date. My first job was filling in for a person on sick leave at another facility. When she returned, I was transferred accross town to work "permanently?" with another person.


I do what the fax machine dictates. I only recently met the supervisor.

Very impersonal place to work.

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An update.


I finally got HR to send me documentation of my temp status on Friday.

Monday I got a call offering me FT status with bennies in my current location. They may have figured I'm considering my options.


I guess I'll take the offer until I find a better gig. I need insurance in case I drop my bike or get cooties.

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Good for you!


Actually, an 'undefined' status is more dangerous for the company than you from the standpoint that legally if they don't openly define you as a temp, they must legally pay you benefits they pay full timers.


So you could come back later and sue them for NOT paying you full time benefits if they don't document your status. So i think this paperwork was their way of 'getting' that you caught on to the fact that they were not treating you fairly per whatever you signed with them.


Anyway, best of luck. One should always be looking for a BETTER job in any job one has... even if you're not actively looking!

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I'm convinced my employer is playing a cost-reduction game with new hires, telling them they're temps for a few months in front of the probationary 90 days, so they can cut the cost of bennies even further. This is a company that won't let us have hot water in the lab.

My request for clarification was an obvious trigger for them to hire me.

I admit hypocrisy by applying for FT work with these weasels, but such is life. LOL.

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