by Matthew A. Struck, CPCU, ARM – November 29, 2017

Let’s just get this out of the way…Temporary, Part-time, and Volunteer workers need to be treated like they are your full-time employees. Just because someone isn’t paid or paid on a 1099 versus a W2 doesn’t mean they won’t create a liability claim or compensable injury claim that you need to pay for! Here’s how it’s done…

Part-time & Temporary Workers
  • Train your part-timers and temporary workers just as aggressively as your full-timers – they do most of the same things as your full-timers, just over a shorter period of time
  • Hire part-timers and temporary workers with the same scrutiny as your full-timers (when feasible) – Background checks, drug testing, physicals, reference checks, etc.
  • Part-timers and Temporary workers need to receive and acknowledge receipt of an employee handbook/manual – the version of the manual can be a version specific to part-timers and temporary staff (ie – readjust sections such as benefits eligibility) or you can simply include adjustments within the standard employee handbook for part-timers and temp workers (ie – footnotes or subpoints that outline how things might differ for them)
  • Make certain your Workers’ Compensation insurer knows you use part-time or temporary labor and how much of it you utilize – these workers are covered under most states’ Workers’ Compensation laws
  • Training – volunteers won’t need as rigorous a training program as your full-timers but they will need some cursory form of training to make certain they can perform their duties safely. Include a section on acceptable behavior, chain of command, and limitations of their duties
  • Hiring – volunteers aren’t typically hired but they present a specifically high level of risk because, without being their employer, you don’t have as much control over their actions. This means, when feasible and dependent on their role (ie – close contact with children, access to property of value, use of vehicles/equipment, etc.) you should be performing background checks, Motor Vehicle Report checks, drug testing, etc.
  • Volunteers don’t need to receive an employee handbook but will need some written notification of their roles/duties and the risks associated with those duties as well as a requirement to sign off that they have been received and the volunteer agrees.
  • Volunteer workers are typically not covered under Workers’ Compensation coverage – You will need to purchase a volunteer accident medical insurance policy to help cover any injuries sustained by volunteers during their time of service. Volunteer accident medical coverage provides money for medical treatment without any admission of liability. This can help head off a lawsuit if a volunteer is injured during their service.

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