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Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

Are Seasonal Workers Entitled to Normal Employment Rights?

By Dan Atkerson on December 19, 2016

As we move through the holiday shopping craze, many businesses are hiring seasonal workers to keep up with the extra traffic. Joining a company for a few weeks to help with the extra work might sound like a simple agreement, but the truth is that no matter how short your time there is, you are still an employee. This means you are still entitled to employment rights. Let’s explore what that means.

What Rights Do Seasonal Workers Have?

While individualized agreements can change your conditions of employment in terms of issues like paid time off and severance, unless you are an independent contractor, you still get the usual array of United States employment law protections. This includes all the following:
  • Wage protections: No matter how you came to work at a business or how long your stay there is, you are still entitled to a minimum wage, and your employer must pay you for every hour that you are on the clock. Seasonal workers do not have to tolerate unpaid wages or shady payment arrangement. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
  • Overtime: If you qualify for overtime pay, any number of hours you work past a normal 40-hour workweek means that you get time and a half pay. This is the same rule for any other employee at a business.
  • Discrimination protections: If you are fired, refused permanent status or mistreated on the basis of race, gender, age or disability discrimination you have the right to file a lawsuit against your employer. Everyone deserves the right to a fair workplace, whether you’ve been at the company for two decades or two weeks.
  • Sexual harassment protections: Sexual harassment is a serious violation. This includes requests for sexual favors, crude jokes or bullying someone because of their gender or sexual orientation. Fortunately, there are laws in place to protect employees from these crimes.
If you or a loved one take a seasonal gig this holiday season, it might not feel like you are a genuine part of the team, but never forget that you are still entitled to the protections that our employment laws provide.

Dan. A Atkerson is a Dallas employment lawyer who handles issues such as worker misclassification, wage theft, discrimination and other forms of workplace injustice.

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