If you are a temporary employee, your status is typically different from if you were seasonal. Temporary employees, or “temps,” are typically hired as a stopgap to temporarily replace a worker that suddenly left or is temporarily on leave. This post will go over the factors that go into being a temp. Hopefully, you will be better armed to discern the difference between temporary and full-time employment.

As stated above, temps are hired as stopgap measures until the employer is able to hire someone permanently or until the original employee returns. Usually, temporary workers will be hired to replace striking workers, employees out on maternity or paternity leave or if someone is out on a sabbatical.

Temporary employees are often staffed out by agencies, which generally negotiate a rate on behalf of the temp. The staffing agency then takes a cut of the temp’s wage as their fee. As a temporary employee, you can be staffed out in a number of industries from clerical, medical, legal, educational or information technology. Basically, any industry that may experience a sudden burst of work, like a law firm taking a large case to trial, or companies that rely on employees with specific skills that are not easily replaced may use staffing agencies. Your temporary job can turn into a full-time position with the company you are contracted to, but that depends upon the relationship between you, your staffing agency and the hiring company.

If you are a temporary employee, you exist in a legal gray area between full-time workers and contractors. If you believe that your rights were violated by either your employer or staffing agency, then you may want to speak to an attorney. Due to the vagueness of temporary employment, it is easier for your rights to be violated. An experienced employee rights attorney could assess your situation to better determine if this happened to you.