Employers face compliance challenges now more than ever, and in the staffing industry, the challenges are enhanced due to the nature of the industry. As new regulations that relate to onboarding of candidates continue to emerge, staffing companies must be prepared to address them appropriately. It is important to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

Wage rate. One example is the requirement many states are enacting that employees receive written notification of pay rates, which is a significant challenge to the staffing industry. As opposed to starting one new employee at a time, the volume of temporary employees simultaneously starting a job(s) can be overwhelming, as many times the start of the job does not take place at your location nor is the candidate working at your place of business. Additionally, temporary employees can go on and off assignments weekly, and finally, you may have limited access to the employee(s) once they are called about a potential job.

These facts alone can make it difficult for staffing firms to comply with wage rate notification requirements. Add in the unique aspect of the staffing industry that employment letters or compensation memos are typically not provided to candidates due to the nature and length of work. Writing letters for 50 candidates on a job that is going to last one week is a lot of administrative effort. However, several states have seen enough issues to pass laws requiring pay rates be in writing and have even issued wage rate notices for use by employers.

Wage rate forms can be beneficial in that they address any discrepancy between the pay rate the staffing agency tells the candidate verbally versus what the candidate is actually paid once they receive their first check. The rate forms keep both the employer and employee honest and informed while decreasing the possibility of litigious claims. The notices themselves are all-inclusive, allowing employers to inform candidates about the rate of pay they discussed, whether they should expect overtime pay when exceeding that state’s overtime rules — and one even goes so far as to inform employees about their rights under the statewide sick leave law.

New York goes one step further in its requirements by requiring staffing agencies to provide an initial registration/ interview form to candidates when discussing rates to show the range of pay they can expect based on the market, candidates’ experience and typical pay in that geographical location at the time. After a candidate starts a specific project, employers should provide a follow-up wage rate form indicating the specific pay rate for that candidate on that project.

And California goes further still in that its wage rate form has a handy paragraph informing employees of the state’s sick leave law, which brings us to another compliance hot spot for staffing companies to monitor.

Paid sick leave. While there is no federal law that requires sick leave, a number of states and cities now require paid sick leave to be offered to employees and if your staffing agency does not provide any other paid time off policy, these laws can be challenging to keep up with when your candidates are placed in multiple states. The list of states adopting sick leave has multiplied since Connecticut became the first to require employers pay sick leave in 2011. In addition to state requirements, many cities are implementing their own sick leave mandates, which means staffing firms not only need to be apprised of changing state laws, but know the laws in the cities where your employees work as you may be subjected to sick leave legislation at the city level as well.

Trying to keep up with ever-changing employment laws can be a daunting task for the staffing industry, but given the high risks associated with violating these regulations, it is more important than ever to know the rules impacting the industry.