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In the modern workplace, it is common for companies to contract outside labor forces to meet their business objectives. “Contractors” often work side-by-side with a company’s traditional employees, and it is sometimes difficult to discern to whom workers “belong.” The answer to this question becomes particularly important when problems arise, such as allegations of discrimination, harassment or retaliation. To whom should the worker complain? Whose responsibility is it to investigate? Who should impose discipline if necessary? Who is liable if discrimination laws were violated? The answers to these questions relate to what company is considered to be the worker’s “employer” — and it could be more than one.

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