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

UPDATED: Oct 15, 2011

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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