A lot of business needs and business practices change with the seasons. Often, when this happens, employers look to hire extra, or seasonal, employees to help maintain productivity and workflow; its common practice. As you begin to search for and hire seasonal workers, though, there are a few special considerations that you need to keep in mind. Many laws and regulations that apply to full-time employees also apply to seasonal and part-time employees. Here’s what you need to know:
- Labor Laws Apply – Just as harassment, discrimination, and workplace health and safety laws apply to full-time employees, they also apply to seasonal and part-time workers. Equal rights concerning overtime pay, minimum wage, child labor, and recordkeeping also apply.
- Laws are Different for Hiring Independent Contractors – Independent contractors, those self-employed individuals, often look for seasonal positions where, due to their specialized areas of expertise, they work as part of a team, work with minimal supervision, or no supervision. It is important to recognize, however, that independent contractors are not employed by you, simply hired by you. Because of this, you are not required to provide benefits, pay unemployment taxes or withhold Social Security, Medicare or tax. You do, however, need to report any compensation of $600 or more to the IRS.
- Some Benefits Are Required by Law – Though benefits will vary state to state, seasonal employees are entitled to receive certain benefits, including unemployment benefits, Social Security, Medicare and workers’ compensation. Benefits such as medical insurance, retirement plans and paid leave are (at the time of this writing) considered to be fringe benefits and may be offered at each employer’s discretion. The catch is that if one seasonal employee receives a certain benefit, they must all be offered the same. Don't find your self in the midst of a discrimination claim!
- Tax Laws Apply – Seasonal employees are subject to the same tax withholding rules as full-time employees, though, again, laws will vary state to state.
Do you have experience with hiring seasonal employees? If so, and you have some additional insights to offer, tell us about it in the comments below!