Many public employers turn to staffing companies to fulfill their temporary staffing needs. Although staffing companies offer quick access to qualified workers, employers should be aware that there are FLSA implications:

  • Joint Employer

A public agency and a staffing company are generally considered “joint employers” if both entities govern the essential terms and conditions of employment.

  • Wages and Overtime

Joint employers are individually responsible for compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA requires that employers pay their employees overtime and a minimum wage. Although public employers will certainly pay the staffing agency more than minimum wage for a temporary employee’s work time, the public employer should also ensure that the amount the individual actually receives complies with the FLSA.

  • Recordkeeping and Reporting

The FLSA requires that employers keep certain records for each nonexempt employees, and this applies even to temporary employees who may only work with the employer for a few days or weeks. The FLSA requires that the employer maintain, for example:

  • Employee’s full name and social security number.
  • Address, including zip code.
  • Time and day of week when employee’s workweek begins. Hours worked each day and total hours worked each workweek.
  • Regular hourly pay rate.
  • Total overtime earnings for the workweek.
  • Total wages paid each pay period.
  • Date of payment and the pay period covered by the payment.

An employer must retain these records for approximately three years.

  • Other Considerations

Public agencies employing temporary employees through staffing agencies are also required to comply with many laws providing for leaves, benefits, and worker’s compensation.

Because a public agency may share legal responsibility for temporary workers employed through a staffing agency, we suggest that employers ensure that temporary employees receive the benefits required by law.