Jeffrey H. Ruzal, a Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s New York office, was quoted in Law360, in “Better Watch Out: How to Avoid Holiday Hiring Pitfalls,” by Braden Campbell. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

For retailers and other employers that need to add workers to handle a seasonal surge in business, the most wonderful time of the year can seem like a nightmare.

Each year, thousands of employers struggle to meet the increased demands of the holiday season. These demands are felt most strongly by retailers, who need more bodies to ring up extra shoppers and restock rapidly depleting shelves. Restaurants may also struggle as their regular staff takes time off and more people eat out. …

Staffing companies introduce a host of potential legal and compliance issues, and an employer’s best bet for preventing issues and staving them off if they arise is a strong contract.

Businesses that tap a staffing company will want to keep an especially close eye on these workers, though this can be a double-edged sword, said Epstein Becker Green hospitality team leader Jeffrey Ruzal.

“It supports a theory of joint employment when you have your own supervisors supervising a third-party employee,” Ruzal said. “But without that supervision, you’re definitely at risk for potential wage-and-hour compliance issues, which would cause problems for the employer down the line.”

“You want you have a very ironclad agreement with the vendor that allows there to be representations and warranties that provide for full compliance with wage-and-hour laws,” he added.


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