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Workers hired through temp service? Normal anti-discrimination rules still apply

by on
in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Warn supervisors and managers: They should treat temporary workers who come to you via an employment service or agency just like they do other employees. All the normal rules on workplace discrimination still apply.

That means temps who experience harassment or discrimination may be able to sue both the temp agency and your company for that discrimination.

Recent case:
Latiskia Chapman, who is black, worked as a temporary employee for Today’s Staffing. She was assigned to work at Duke Energy.

Chapman was the only black worker in her section and claimed that her supervisor was constantly telling her she took excessively long breaks.

But Chapman claimed she never took a longer break than the rules allowed. She also said her supervisor asked questions like “Do all black people go to the bathroom a lot?”

When Chapman complained to Today’s Staffing, the agency told her she should think about her paycheck before complaining. Shortly after, Today’s Staffing told her she would no longer work at Duke. It never sent her on another assignment.

Chapman sued both the temp agency and Duke Energy. Duke argued it had never been Chapman’s employer. But the court said Duke controlled almost everything Chapman did, including setting the length of her breaks. The court said the case could go forward against both companies. (Chapman v. Duke Energy, No. 3:09-CV-37, WD NC, 2010)

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