November 12, 2020

Seasonal Employee Compliance

Seasonal hiring is in full swing as employers add hundreds of thousands of temporary workers in preparation for the holiday rush. If your business is hiring seasonal or part-time workers for the busy shopping season, don’t forget to provide them with the same level of compliance training as regular, full-time employees. It’s not only a smart business practice, it may be required by law.

Although holiday hires are only around for a few months, it’s important that compliance training, including sexual harassment training, is part of their onboarding process. This sets expectations for how seasonal employees are to behave and interact with others as representatives of your business.

Discrimination and harassment training is crucial for employees and managers.

It is an important step in creating a safe, harassment-free work environment for all employees and ensuring they understand how to report misconduct without the fear of retaliation. Supervisors charged with overseeing seasonal workers need to serve as strong workplace role models and be adequately trained on their responsibilities to recognize, respond and resolve incidents and conflicts.

Most federal employment laws apply equally to seasonal employees, except for the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Unless employment continues beyond the holidays, seasonal employees are ineligible for FMLA leave because they will not fulfill the required 1,250 hours of work in a 12-month period. However, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) amends the FMLA to grant emergency FMLA leave to full- and part-time employees for reasons related to COVID-19. The FFCRA requires businesses employing fewer than 500 employees to provide paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave to all employees due to self-quarantine, caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed, caring for family members sick with COVID, and more. 

Thus, it’s important for seasonal employees to abide by your Code of Conduct policies and complete the same training as regular staff to comply with federal, state, city and industry compliance guidelines. Where possible, also pair new hires with a designated, experienced person to consult when they have questions or need help with your organization’s operations and guidelines. 

Despite the pandemic, a recent Monster Jobs & Hiring Report shows an upswing in holiday hiring within transportation, warehousing and retail jobs this fall. Hiring is primarily aimed at bolstering workforces to meet a surge in online fulfillment. However, seasonal employees are also being hired to manage customer traffic, sanitize shelves and check temperatures at the door. Large retailers and delivery companies have announced plans to fill more than 420,000 combined holiday jobs from October through January.

Traliant Insight

Just like permanent employees, seasonal employees have a right to an inclusive workplace that is free from discrimination and harassment. Before the holiday rush, provide temporary workers with the same level of compliance training as regular staff and be sure your managers understand that most federal employment rules apply equally to seasonal workers. Before, during and after the holiday rush make sure your employees receive compliance training to foster a safe and respectful work environment, positive customer interactions and great customer service.

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