As the construction skills gap widens and competition for qualified talent grows, hiring temp workers may prove useful for keeping your business fully staffed. But before you start your search, you need to know the construction labor laws that affect your temporary staffing plan. Here are four federal and state regulations to keep in mind when you leverage temporary labor for your next project—and how partnering with a construction staffing firm can simplify compliance.
Note: This is a non-exhaustive list of construction labor laws. We recommend reaching out to your attorney or the Texas Workforce Commission for in-depth legal guidance.
1. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
For construction businesses with at least two employees and an annual gross sales volume of $500,000 or more, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is critical to understand. This federal labor law—which sets a minimum wage of $7.25—applies to any temporary worker on your or your staffing firm’s payroll.
The FLSA also protects workers from employer overtime abuse, requiring companies to pay overtime when employees work more than 40 hours in a week. These hours include rest breaks, which are 20 minutes or less, but don't include mealtimes. The rate for overtime payment is 1.5 times the employee’s wage.
Under the FLSA, employers must also maintain payroll records for three years. These records must include details about employee work schedules, pay rates, timecards, earnings and deductions, and personal information—from occupations and addresses to Social Security numbers.
Don’t want to manage the complex, time-consuming payroll process? When you partner with a construction staffing agency like Skinner, you don’t have to. Your staffing partner will become the employer of record for your temp workers—and you can benefit from fully managed payroll and recordkeeping services from construction labor law experts.
Independent Contractor Classification
If your temp workers are independent contractors, which means they’re legally self-employed, they're not covered by FLSA protections. But calling your temp workers independent contractors isn’t an easy way out of regulations—misclassification can lead to thousands of dollars in fines.
Independent contractors are often hired for a specific project or period of time. But according to the “Independent Contractor Status Under the FLSA” rule, companies cannot fully dictate how an independent contractor does their work. If you need your workers to be onsite on a strict schedule, and if you have detailed instructions for machinery or equipment usage, your temporary workers should likely be classified as employees. Plus, if onsite training is required—as it is with most construction roles—it can be used as evidence that your temp workers are employees.
2. Texas Minimum Wage Act
If your Texas construction business isn’t subject to FLSA rules—i.e., you have less than two employees and/or an annual gross sales volume of less than $500,000—keep in mind the same minimum pay still applies. The Texas Minium Wage Act requires you to pay employees at least $7.25 per hour. (Again, independent contractors aren’t covered by this legislation.)
3. Occupational Safety and Health Act
In the construction industry, which sees over 1,000 worker fatalities per year (more than any other field), the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act cannot be ignored. This federal labor law requires you to monitor, prevent, and eliminate hazards in your construction zone to keep workers safe.
Even if your temp employees are only working on a project for a month, the OSH Act requires you to equip them with relevant equipment operation training and essential personal protective equipment (PPE). For construction workers, required PPE often includes steel-toed boots, hard hats, and eye protection. Employers are also required to record and report on-site injuries.
Construction staffing firms like Skinner take care of most OSH Act requirements on your behalf. All your company needs to do is provide on-site instructions, supply specialized PPE (like harnesses), and inform temp workers of the emergency procedures you already have in place.
4. Texas Payday Law
One of the most impactful labor laws for construction workers in the Lone Star State is the Texas Payday Law. This regulation dictates when you need to pay employees. If you’re subject to the FLSA, you’ll need to pay your construction workers in full at least twice a month—on the 1st and 15th unless you designate other recurring dates. Otherwise, monthly payments are required.
This regulation also serves as Texas’ final paycheck law—you have six days to fully pay terminated employees, or until the next regular payday for employees who quit or retire.
By managing your payroll with state regulations in mind, construction staffing agencies like Skinner keep you compliant with the Texas Payday Law, along with other local employee compensation laws.
Simplify Compliance with Support from a Staffing Firm
Understanding key construction labor laws—including those specific to your home state—is critical to staying compliant, avoiding penalties, and managing your temporary workforce fairly and safely. But in this day and age, construction recruiting is already hard enough. You don’t need the headache of payroll and reporting requirements or safety regulations bogging you down.
At Skinner, we leverage our expansive network of highly skilled workers to quickly connect you with the right talent—all while staying up to date with state and federal labor laws to keep you compliant with minimal effort on your part.