Do companies have to hire temporary employess after a certain timeframe?

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Do companies have to hire temporary employess after a certain timeframe?

I am a temporary worker but have been stationed at the same client company for 5 years now. The client company treats me as an employee (i.e. makes my schedule, disciplines, tells me how to do my job and provides the tools and training for my job). I have researched the topic some and ran across the class action lawsuit for this same thing. Do I have a case?

Asked on October 15, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, there is absolutely NO law requiring that a company ever hire a temporary employee or otherwise convert them to a "permanent" employee--an employee can remain temporary for decades. (Besides that, unless the employee has an employment contract, he or she is an "employee at will" and can be fired at any time, for any reason, without notice; in that sense, almost *all* employees are "temporary," since the vast majority could lose their jobs at any time.)

If you are being classified and paid as an independent contractor (e.g. the company does not pay FICA for you; no overtime; you're not getting benefits which othe employees get) when you are actually an employee, that can provide a basis for recovering the additional compensation and benefits you would have received as an employee. That's more likely what you say as a lawsuit--independent contractors who are really employees suing for the additional compensation they were due. You can find the tests for when someone is an independent contractor on the Department of Labor website.

However, as stated above, there is no basis for forcing a company to convert a temporary employee to a permanent one or hire them, unless there was a contract to that effect; e.g. if you are working pursuant to an agreement which says that after a given amount of time, you will be brought onboard, you may sue to enforce that contract.


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