Resource Library

Sharing Employees: Recognizing Potential Liability

Close up of multiracial handshake at office desk.Date: July 2018

In responding to demands for expanded services, new mandates and financial limitations, government entities look to a variety of methods to deliver services. This may involve sharing employees and/or contracting employment services with another government entity, including joint powers entities. Some examples: one government entity enters into a contract for another entity’s services; two entities employ the same individual for separate part-time employment; a joint powers board contracts with one of its members for some services.

Benefits and risks exist with the different types of arrangements for sharing employees. It is important for employers to identify the most common risks when the employment relationship is not clearly defined and to manage those risks. These risks include:

  • Negligent hiring
  • Negligent supervision
  • Negligent retention
  • Violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Discrimination claims
  • Violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Workers’ compensation responsibilities
  • Data practices
  • Fiscal agent responsibilities