Can temps clock in using the same procedures as our regular employees?

Q. Our business has been booming and we are short-staffed. We have brought on a number of temporary workers from a staffing agency. Is it acceptable to have the temporary workers use the same punch clock system that our regular employees use?

A. Employers are increasingly using temporary staffing or leased employees to supplement their regular workforces. While the use of temporary employees can provide employers with “just-in-time” staffing and reduce benefits and payroll costs, it can also be fraught with potential traps and liability to unwary employers.

A company that uses temporary workers must be very careful as to how it interacts with them so that the company does not end up with liability as a joint employer. One of the ways a company can demonstrate that the temporary workers are not the company’s employees is to have separate protocols for the temporary workers.

For this reason, it is not a good idea to have temporary employees use the same punch clock system. Instead companies should have separate time sheets for the temporary employees.