Temp agencies are designed to provide companies in need of short-term work with temporary employees. By contracting with these agencies, companies benefit by saving money on payroll expenses and employees are able to find short-term work while looking for full-time employment.
However, it is not commonly known by people looking for temporary work that temp agencies often engage in discriminatory practices – and it is illegal. Since they are contracted with businesses, temp agencies often discriminate against certain individuals to fill the specifications and roles outlined by the companies they work with to the detriment of the employees.
Do you think you may have been the victim of discriminatory practices used by temp agencies? If so, here is what you need to know.
Federal Law Prohibits Discrimination in the Workplace
Employees are protected against discrimination by the federal government. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces laws that prohibit discrimination because of a person’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information. State and local laws also protect employees against discrimination. Many businesses are aware of these laws, but it does not deter them from requesting specific criteria for a “qualified” candidate.
These laws apply to most businesses, provided the employer employs a sufficient number of employees to trigger coverage, including temp agencies. Often these agencies will discriminate against employees based on a protected class, making their actions as illegal as if the company that contracted them had committed such violations.
Due to the complexities of state and federal anti-discrimination laws, it is highly recommended that employees who are victims of discriminatory practices used by temp agencies have an employee rights attorney represent their case.
Who Is Affected by Discriminatory Practices Used by Temp Agencies?
Investigations have shown that staffing agencies will make assignments to individual clients based on that client’s request or stated preference for particular “specifications” for jobs like race (directives may be as obvious as a request to “only send white employees”) or sex (directives may be couched in terms of requirements for “strong” employees implying women are not welcome). Unfortunately, these discriminatory practices often affect minorities the hardest. In fact, according to a study by Northwestern University, Harvard and the Institute for Social Research in Norway, it was found that anti-black racism during the hiring process has not changed since 1989, while there has been a slight decrease for the Latino community.
“…white applicants receive 36% more callbacks than equally qualified African Americans” while white applicants receive on average 24% more callbacks than Latinos.” – Vox
Since temp agencies work on behalf of employers and not employees if they are requested by a company not to hire women, Latinos or Blacks, they often adhere to those requests – and blatantly discriminate against temporary employees based on a protected class.
Were You Discriminated Against? Contact a Labor Law Attorney.
At Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A., our employment law attorneys are experienced in protecting employees from workplace discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation, bullying and much more. We fight for fight for fairness, justice, and equal rights in the workplace. If you think you may have been the victim of discriminatory practices used by temp agencies, know you are not alone. The significant impact on minorities and women, in particular, is a major issue that we are determined to fight.
Unlike temp agencies, we work for employees, not employers, and focus on employee rights for all Florida residents. Contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation. We offer locations throughout the State of Florida for your convenience: Tampa, St. Petersburg, Orlando, Miami, Sarasota, and Jacksonville.