Facts to Remember When Hiring Seasonal Workers

Facts to Remember When Hiring Seasonal Workers

According to United States Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the restaurant industry creates approximately 500,000 jobs during the summer months, representing one of the industries to create the largest number of seasonal jobs. To drive the point further, close to one-third of the restaurant industry’s workers are employees who work in the industry only part of the year. This large number of temporary workers translates into some uncommon challenges for operations management, mostly with regard to workers’ compensation insurance. Three things operations managers should keep in mind with regard to workers’ compensation insurance and seasonal restaurant staff are to ensure workers are classified properly, to report payroll properly, and to put a sufficient amount of time and energy into ensuring employees are sufficiently trained with regard to safety procedures.

All staff should be properly classified for tax and payroll purposes. Incorrectly classifying workers can result in large penalties for the business. The Internal Revenue Service offers information and assistance to guide business owners in correctly classifying staff members.

Reporting payroll accurately and properly is also extremely important. Restaurant operators are required to report all staff transactions, including cash tips and payments, to the IRS. Social Security, Medicare taxes, state and federal income taxes must also be accurately withheld based on the total amount of wages for each employee (including all cash tips and payments). Accurate payroll reporting is necessary in order to determine workers’ compensation insurance, as the amount that is owed for workers’ compensation insurance is determined partly based on the restaurants annual payroll amount. Failing to properly report payroll could lead to legal issues and fines, if an employee is injured on the job, and could also lead to insurance fraud with regard to workers’ compensation.

Lastly, ensuring employees are properly trained when it comes to potential safety risks in a restaurant is extremely important. There are a large number of potential dangers in restaurants that could lead to an employee being injured or becoming ill. Some of those risks include the risk of slip and fall on a wet or greasy kitchen floor, the risk of cuts when using knives and other sharp kitchen utensils, and the risk of becoming ill if not properly trained in the use of certain chemicals for cleaning or handling of certain foods. New employees should receive extensive training with regard to all safety procedures. The restaurant industry hires close to one-third of all working teens in the United States. Many of these teens have never had a job before and need the workplace safety training, as these workers are the most likely to suffer an injury in the workplace. Research indicates that every seven minutes in the United States, a teen sustains a workplace injury that requires hospitalization. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that businesses that integrate a focus on safety training into their operations will likely reduce injuries and illness in the workplace, as well as improve overall business success.

Despite the fact that seasonal staff is temporary, they are entitled to the same workers’ compensation benefits as permanent employees, if they are injured on the job. It is of paramount importance to remember this when hiring seasonal employees and invest the time and money in properly training them, to ensure their safety and further ensure the success of the restaurant.