Something to Think About

"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Friday, August 5, 2011

Earlier this week K came home and asked me to help him go online to apply for a full-time job at the location where he now works.

[Background: K works as a temporary worker at a local company. When a company hires temp workers, there is a contract signed which tells them how long they must wait to hire the person full-time if they wish to do so. The employee is not actually employed by the company where he or she works, but employed by the temp agency.* K has worked through the temp agency for quite some time and long enough that he was asked to apply to work full-time.]

He came home yesterday to tell me that the company has told him that he is now hired. I rejoiced! Finally he can have medical insurance! "Not so fast", I was told. It seems he was hired by the company as a "seasonal employee". Now this is not the type of job that one would traditionally call seasonal so I was confused. It seems that, back in January when K was hired as a temp worker at this place, the company also hired some employees who they called "seasonal". Those "seasonal" workers - the ones who worked out - are now being hired full-time. There are now "seasonal" positions open so that is what K and some others are being hired as.

The company is probably not paying any more than they were for these workers when they were temp workers - though K will be making $1 more an hour - because the company still doesn't have to provide benefits for "seasonal" employees.

Yeah. Sounds like there is some sort of poorly-worded legislation which allows companies like this to take advantage of people, doesn't it? I'm sure it's entirely "legal" but it sure seems unethical to me! As it stands, I will be checking into the PA labor laws because I smell a rat here and it wouldn't hurt to check!

I had really hoped that K could finally get some health insurance but it looks like this won't be happening for at least another 6 months until he is hired full-time. The worst part is there is absolutely nothing we can do about it except continue to hope that he stays well and uninjured!

*Some companies like to hire temp workers because if they don't like a worker - for any reason at all - they can tell the temp agency not to send that person back. There are some other obvious benefits, too, such as not having to pay for benefits for these workers and such. Of course the worker can request to be placed on another job if he or she wishes so there are some cons, as well, though I really believe the company makes out better in this situation.

photo by Jakes_World


  1. Yes, my new job is actually a contracted, or "permanent temp" position. The company does this so they can save money on vacation pay and benefits. Better than not having a job, I guess, since I can piggyback on my husband's insurance!

  2. We keep telling ourselves that it is better than no job at all, and I suppose it is. K can't go on my insurance as we are not married, though, so he's stuck without for now. :-(

  3. I kinda already said it all over on my blog, but it is bullshit, plain and simple. Companies are raking in record profits for this very reason. People are so desperate for work they are tolerating being treated this way. I don't like the way things are, I really don't, but what can we do? I'd love to be in his position where I at least had some money coming in, so in that regard, I'm jealous. But he deserves better.

    If I am not able to obtain benefits from any form of employement by January, I will piggyback on my husband's insurance. I haven't figured out how we are going to pay for that, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

    Ugh ugh ugh.

  4. It really stinks that you can't be added right away to your husband's insurance! January is a long way away.
    Hopefully you'll get a job soon! I'm rooting for you!!