Many companies use temporary employees to supplement their permanent workforce. Typically, the client company contracts with an agency to provide temporary employees and the temporary employees are employees of the agency, not the client company. In the context of Title VII, the client company may be considered a “joint employer” and be directly liable for discrimination against a temporary employee. The analysis of joint employment is fact based and examines the client company’s right to exercise control over the temporary employee’s employment. In a recent EEOC settlement, both the agency and client company were alleged to have violated the ADA when the agency removed a temporary employee with a prosthetic leg from the client company’s worksite because the client company was concerned the employee would be bumped into or knocked down. The EEOC’s press release does not discuss joint employment, but presumably the evidence that the temporary employee’s removal was prompted by the client company, led to the EEOC’s allegation that the client company was “complicit” in the discrimination.
The EEOC press release is here: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/12-23-14a.cfm
EEOC Guidance on temporary/contract workers is here: http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/conting.html