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What State/Fed Laws Apply - Temp in State A, Assignment State B?

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  • What State/Fed Laws Apply - Temp in State A, Assignment State B?

    I know this sounds like a bad law school question but I thought I would pose it if it will help me get paid:

    I temped for an assignment in State B but I got the assignment out of a temporary staffing office in State A. The company is a national company and my check will be cut out of State C.

    I drove 55 minutes each way only to work 1 hour.

    I am wondering whether I am owed a minimum shift after a temp for which I was temping returned one hour into my scheduled shift:
    1.) As a Temp Consultant am I considered an employee under labor laws?
    2.) What state has jurisdiction and are there any federal laws that might apply across state borders?

  • #2
    All workers are legally "employees" or "independant contractors". Legally there is not such thing as a "Temp Consultant". That is just a made up phrase used by your company.

    Employees submit a W-4, have taxes withheld from their checks, and receive a W-2 at year end. Independant contractors submit a I-9, have no taxes withheld from their checks, and receive a 1099 at year end.
    Federal DOL worker classificaition rules

    The state where the work was actually done in has juristiction. And federal labor laws are equally applicable in all states.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      Thank you for the prompt reply.

      You seemed to have answered my question.

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      • #4
        DAW did not directly address this question.

        Originally posted by TempConsultant View Post
        I am wondering whether I am owed a minimum shift after a temp for which I was temping returned one hour into my scheduled shift
        Possibly, if you worked in California or Massachusetts. Maybe there are other states that have report time laws.

        More likely, you worked somewhere else and you can only look at the company policy to see if they guarantee some number of hours. For us, a temp agency, two hours if you show up and are sent home for lack of work. Four hours if you start work and then are sent home because the job is done or interrupted. Not legally required, but quite common.
        Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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        • #5
          So, the question to be answered is what state is state B?
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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          • #6
            Thank you again.

            State B is Massachusetts. Thanks.

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            • #7
              In MA, if you were SCHEDULED for only one hour, that's all you have to be paid. If you were scheduled for more time than that and sent home after only one hour, that's a different story. Which is it?
              The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by TempConsultant View Post
                State B is Massachusetts. Thanks.
                Massachusetts has reporting time laws, but I am not very familiar with them and, tops, we are talking three hours of pay (likely less, since you worked for an hour). Not worth it for a lawyer. The AG's office enforces labor laws in that state and I don't know what they could or would do for you.
                Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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                • #9
                  Thanks

                  Now that I know it is Massachusetts jurisdication I will just send my Account Manager from the staffing agency the applicable labor law poster and leave it at that. Maybe they will understand what I am talking about now that I am more informed by all of you. I have valued your input.

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                  • #10
                    Just to make it clear, MA has reporting time laws but does NOT have minimum shift laws. It would be legal to schedule you for fifteen minutes and you would only be owed fifteen minutes pay. It's when you are scheduled for a longer shift than you are allowed to work, that there is an issue.
                    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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                    • #11
                      Regarding CBG's question...

                      CBG, I was scheduled from 8 am until 5 pm for an 8 hour shift, but only worked the first hour. Thanks.

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                      • #12
                        Then you should be paid for three hours.
                        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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                        • #13
                          You would have needed to be paid for the length of time worked or three hours whichever is longer - in this case three hours.
                          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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                          • #14
                            Also, depending upon when the actual work day begins, you may also be entitled to travel pay as well as reimbursement of your travel expenses. How do you receive your assignments? Do you do any work in the morning from home?
                            This post is by Philip Gordon, a Massachusetts employment attorney (www.gordonllp.com).

                            This post is NOT legal advice. It is for general/educational information purposes only. You should not rely on this post if you are making decisions, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post may be considered "advertising" under the MA professional rules for attorneys.

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