Can Temp Employees Be Wrongfully Terminated?

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It’s estimated that 16 million temporary employees are hired every year.

Temp employees represent a significant portion of the workforce and are a vital part of many industries, providing flexible staffing solutions for businesses during busy periods or covering absences. However, despite their essential role, temporary employees may be at risk of wrongful termination in some situations.


What is wrongful termination?

Firstly, it is essential to understand what constitutes wrongful termination. Wrongful termination occurs when an employee is fired or dismissed from their job for illegal or unethical reasons, such as discrimination or retaliation. Examples of illegal reasons for termination include discrimination based on race, gender, age, religion, or disability, or retaliation for whistleblowing or reporting illegal activity.


What legal rights do temporary employees have?

While temporary employees are not permanent staff members, they are still protected by federal and state laws against discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in the workplace. Therefore, if a temporary employee is fired or dismissed for illegal reasons, this could be considered wrongful termination and may result in legal action, depending on the situation.

It is also worth noting that temporary employees may be entitled to additional protections under some state laws. For example, some states have laws requiring employers to provide temporary employees with notice of termination and the same protections as permanent employees.

However, it is important to mention that not all terminations of temporary employees are illegal. In some cases, an employer may have legitimate reasons for terminating a temporary employee, such as poor performance or reduced business needs. In such cases, if the termination is not discriminatory or retaliatory, it may not be wrongful termination.

There’s another critical difference when it comes to temp employees: they are often considered employees of a temp agency and not the company they are working for. This depends on how the contract is set up, but it’s a key distinction because the temp employee could face wrongful termination from the temp agency, the company, or both.


Steps to Take for Temp Employees and Wrongful Termination

If you are a temp employee who believes they have been wrongfully terminated, get in touch with an employment lawyer. They can evaluate your claims and determine if you have a possible case.

The McGonigle Law Team has decades of experience with wrongful termination cases and is here to discuss your options. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our office with any questions.


The information contained herein is for general purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

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