May 10, 2024

Every year as summer approaches, many businesses look to meet heightened demand during their busy season by hiring seasonal employees. Others seek to employ college students who are on break as a way to build their talent pipeline and help augment their workforce. Whatever the reason, bringing on temporary workers comes with challenges and considerations. Here is what companies need to know when hiring seasonal staff.


Communicate salary expectations with prospective interns, clarifying whether the position is paid or unpaid, and if there are additional benefits such as stipends or bonuses. Outline compensation details, including hourly rates or fixed amounts, ensuring interns understand their financial arrangements before accepting the position.

Ensure the intern understands the role by providing clear expectations and goals, and by outlining responsibilities. Determine whether the internship is part of the intern’s educational program. If so, you may be required to include integrated coursework or receipt of credit. Foster a supportive environment that promotes growth, learning, and professional development, while also protecting their rights. While internships are a great way to scout future talent, be sure to communicate there is no guaranteed employment following an internship. 

Worker Classification

Just like with permanent employees, you need to assess if your seasonal staff are independent contractors or employees based on labor law guidelines. Classification of employees determines their pay structure and eligibility for overtime. Employees classified as exempt must be paid on a salary basis and are not entitled to overtime pay. Employees classified as non-exempt (hourly) do not pass the duties test and must be paid overtime based on 40 hours in a workweek (in most states). 

A new rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is in effect starting July 1, 2024. Most salaried workers who earn less than $844 per week will become eligible for overtime pay. On January 1, 2025, most salaried workers who make less than $1,128 per week will become eligible for overtime pay. Wage law violations from misclassification can be costly, so it’s important to keep on top of any changes.

Minimum Working Age

Be aware of both the FLSA rules and their state’s laws whenever employing people under 18 years old. As a general rule, the FLSA sets 14 years old as the minimum age for employment and limits the number of hours worked by minors under the age of 16.

Health Benefits

Seasonal workers aren’t typically offered company health insurance, 401(k), or other benefits you’d normally extend to your full-time employees. When it comes to ACA and determining whether you are an applicable large employer (ALE) with 50 or more full-time employees, it’s important to understand the definition of a seasonal employee. To be classified as an ACA seasonal employee, the duration of the employment is six months or less and the job is performed around the same approximate time each year.

Time Off Policies

Finally, make sure seasonal workers have your handbook/time off policy and understand how to request it. Be aware of state-mandated sick leave, which applies to seasonal and part-time workers as well. 

Are you hiring seasonal employees? Whether you’re looking to bring on board temporary or permanent, full-time staff members, we can help. Contact us today.

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