Negotiating Staffing Agency Agreements: Drafting Key Provisions, Minimizing Individual and Joint-Employer Liability

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Recorded event now available

This CLE webinar will provide guidance to employment counsel for negotiating and drafting contracts between employers and staffing agencies. The panel will discuss key provisions in the agreements and best practices for employers and staffing agencies to avoid individual and/or joint-employer liability for employment law violations when operating under the agreements.


Employers frequently contract with staffing agencies for temporary workers, with the intention that the workers will operate as employees of the agency and the agency will bear responsibility for the workers’ payroll and employee benefits. When negotiating staffing agency agreements, counsel for employers and staffing agencies must ensure that the contracts clearly outline each party’s duties and responsibilities, including the duty to comply with all applicable employment and tax laws.

Federal and state agencies and the courts have begun closely scrutinizing staffing agency arrangements to determine if employers and staffing agencies are treating workers lawfully and paying them fairly. Courts are also increasingly holding employers liable as joint employers of workers obtained through staffing agencies, making them equally responsible for employment law violations committed by the staffing agency. The degree of day-to-day control employers exert over temporary workers weighs heavily in determining whether joint-employer liability exists.

Failure to comply with applicable employment laws may result in liability for back wages, taxes and benefits, as well as penalties and attorneys’ fees. To minimize liability, employment counsel should negotiate limitation of liability provisions as well as provisions on indemnification and reimbursement of defense costs, and regularly audit the employer-staffing agency relationship for compliance with employment laws.

Listen as our authoritative panel discusses best practices for negotiating and drafting contracts between employers and staffing agencies.


  1. Key provisions
    1. Scope
    2. Duties and responsibilities
    3. Payment
    4. Term
    5. Indemnification
    6. Limitation of liability
    7. Termination
    8. Confidentiality
  2. Monitoring compliance with agreements
  3. Minimizing joint-employer risks


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Key provisions in staffing agency agreements
  • Latest trends in joint-employer liability for employers contracting with staffing agencies
  • Best practices for negotiating agreements
  • Best practices for monitoring compliance with agreements


Janette Levey Frisch, Founder
The EmpLAWyerologist Firm, East Brunswick, N.J.

Ms. Frisch works with employers on most employment law issues to ensure that employers are in the best position possible to avoid litigation, audits, employee relations problems, and the attendant, often exorbitant costs. She has written and lectured on numerous employment law topics and is a former in-house counsel for a staffing agency.

Jacob M. Sitman, Shareholder, Chair of Employment Law and Labor Relations
Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba, Center Valley, Pa.

Mr. Sitman represents both private and public employers in a wide array of employment law and traditional labor matters. He litigates claims of discrimination, harassment, whistleblower, and wrongful discharge, among others, as well as providing counsel and training business owners, executives, HR managers and supervisors in a variety of matters. Mr. Sitman is a frequent author and speaker on labor and employment law topics.


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Program Materials

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