If you have a buyout policy built into your temp workers’ contracts, you might want to think about this.
Staffmasters, a staffing firm in Charlotte, N.C., recently placed some 25 workers at its client Vertis Communications.
Like many staffing firms, Staffmasters had a buyout clause built into its contract with Vertis. Generally, the clause should have stated that if the client wanted to hire any of Staffmasters’ temporary workers full time, the client would have to pay a buyout fee (in this case, $3,000).
Nothing much out of the ordinary so far.
However, for reasons completely unrelated to the buyout policy, Staffmasters wound up cancelling their relationship with Vertis. A different firm, Staff Finders, took over staffing duties for Vertis instead.
What happens to the original buyout clause?
In this case, it stayed put in far-reaching fashion. None of the 25 employees hired through Staffmasters could simply switch to Staff Finders and continue working for Vertis. Should Vertis decide to keep any of them, it would have to pay Staffmasters $3,000 per employee.
Vertis, of course, said no way. And employees like Ray Robinson were left in the lurch.
“I need a job. Give me a job, that’s all I ask,” said Robinson. ”Any job – I don’t have to go back to Vertis.”
Robinson eventually did get another job through Staffmasters. But is this a happy ending?
Buyout clauses are designed to protect the staffing firms’ assets. They can be a good business practice.
In this case, the clause wound up putting those same assets into sort of a no-man’s land. I can imagine it wasn’t pleasant for Staffmasters partner Margot Dewitt and her staff having to suddenly scramble to place 25 temporary workers, either.
What does your buyout clause cover? Leave your comments below!