Enforcement Guidance: Application of EEO Laws to Contingent Workers

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Enforcement Guidance: Application of EEO Laws to Contingent Workers

Employment relationships are regulated and complex for many reasons. Employers may arrange to hire a temporary worker through an agency that specializes in linking employers with the people who have the necessary skills. (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, Wright, p. 132) Organizations should be clear as to the type of employment relationship to avoid employer-liability. Organizations must consider the benefits and risks of contingent workers. Knowing the proper knowledge of alternative work arrangements is important for two reasons: 1) qualified employees are protected under most discrimination laws, and 2) most discrimination laws are limited to employers with a required number of employees. In my organization, we have several contract firms that supply contingent workers such as contract employees on a continuing basis. Contingent workers have employment rights and are covered under the anti-discrimination statutes. As a Supervisory Human Resources Manager, I have not experienced any complaints or allegations regarding discrimination of our contingent workforce. However, I have noticed that some supervisors and other employees treat the contingent workforce differently as opposed to government employees but not on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The contracting officer nominates a contracting officer representative (COR) to monitor the contractor’s performance in regards to the Government’s intent. While organizations must comply with all of the EEO laws and regulations, they must also develop and implement programs to foster technical compliance and to reflect commitment to the EEO principles. As far as our contract employees, we use our contracting officer (CO) and contracting officer representative (COR) to contract employees, monitor performance measures, and report labor disputes. We provide annual training to ensure EEO laws are enforced and that our...
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