Many Chicago area businesses hire extra employees this time of year to help out with the holiday rush. For example, Amazon recently announced it plans to hire 3,500 extra workers in the Chicago area, while UPS says it needs 8,000 seasonal workers to meet demand in the Windy City. And these are just the first two companies to make public announcements. Many other employers will be staffing up as well.
The competition between employers for the limited pool of employees who want to take on one of these positions is going to be fierce. This means employers will have to offer extra pay or other incentives to get the workers they need, and that may put more bargaining power in the hands of employees. Here are five tips from Vaziri Law LLC for Chicago area employees to keep in mind as they evaluate different seasonal employment opportunities and try to earn some extra cash for the holidays.
1. Beware of Scams
Although the number of legitimate seasonal jobs out there should make finding one relatively easy, that does not mean that jobseekers do not need to be on the lookout for scammers. Opportunities that sound too good to be true probably are, even in the current business climate where employers are offering incentives to attract the staff they need. Be especially wary of any company that asks you to fork over some cash before they will onboard you.
2. Training Should be Paid
Businesses that ask employees to do unpaid training or work for free for a trial period are guilty of violating Illinois and federal labor laws. All workers must be paid for every minute they are on the job, even if they are new to the company and still being taught how to do their job.
3. Temp Workers Can Earn Overtime
Some employers attempt to avoid paying fair wages by claiming that seasonal employees are ineligible for overtime pay. This is wage theft. Employers must pay all employees who work overtime the overtime premium–even temporary employees.
4. Even Temporary Employees Are Eligible for Benefits
Chicago’s Paid Sick Leave ordinance requires employers to offer paid sick leave to all employees — regardless of their tenure at the company. Depending on the company, type of work, and hours worked, temporary employees may be eligible for other benefits as well.
5. Know How Things are Going to End
Although some companies end up promoting seasonal employees to permanent, full-time positions, most seasonal jobs are temporary. It is important to understand from the start how long the job is expected to last, and how the company expects to terminate the employer-employee relationship. If possible, this information should be put in writing.
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Seasonal employees who believe they have been taken advantage of by their employers should not hesitate to reach out to the Vaziri Law LLC team. It doesn’t matter if you only worked somewhere a short while and never intended to stay long-term, you still have rights in those positions too.
Our experienced team will listen to your story, and let you know what options are available to you. Please contact us today to discuss your case.