What are my rights if I work through a temporary agency?

If you are working through a temporary agency, this article is for you. It has information about your rights at work and what to do if there are problems on the job.

If there is a problem that you are facing and it is not dealt with in this article, please give the Workers' Action Centre (WAC) a call at 416-531-0778.

As a temp agency worker, the following laws apply to you and your employer:

It is legal for the temporary agency to decide who they will send to which assignments or jobs, but it cannot be based on the kinds of discrimination listed in the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Application Forms and Human Rights

It is illegal for temp agencies to ask for your SIN, date of birth, or country of origin on the application form before they have offered you the job. However, many agencies ask for this information. In addition, temp agencies cannot charge you to find you employment or to help you with your resume.

How to Protect Yourself

When you start working at a company, get as much information as you can:

  • Keep any contracts you receive and copies of all contracts you sign.
  • Document all details of hours and dates you worked.
  • Take down any information about your boss and co-workers that you can find (name, address, position, phone numbers).
  • Copies of your ROE, a termination letter, a doctor's note and any forms you fill out for the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) or EI.
  • If you go on leave, you should get your old job back with the same responsibilities or a similar job with the same wages if your old job does not exist any more.
  • Your boss must try and accommodate your injury or illness. This may mean changes to your job or a different job.
  • If you are injured at work, fill out the proper forms as soon as you are able. Always report an injury immediately to your supervisor or employer. If you need help with advice or forms relating to WSIB, contact them at 416-344-1000 or if you need translation, call 416-344-4999.

This is not legal advice.

This article is from the Workers' Action Centre. Published in 2010. The Workers' Action Centre is a worker-based organization committed to improving the lives and working conditions of people in low-wage and unstable jobs.

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Last updated: November 9, 2015 4001401