... They are hired in temporary roles alongside full-timers, boxing up online orders, putting together car parts, making the flimsy aluminum trays sold in dollar stores or whatever else is needed in a pinch. Ana Perez, 56, of Chicago was a temp worker for more than 13 years. Jake Heller / NBC News
But they can also be the targets of racial discrimination, wage theft and sexual harassment, workers and labor groups said.
They face a greater risk than full-time workers of getting injured on the job, and enjoy far fewer workplace benefits, such as healthcare, paid leave and overtime, studies show.
Tim Bell, an organizer with advocacy group the Chicago Workers' Collaborative, said he's in favor of legislative reforms that mandate temp workers are treated in the same way permanent ones are under the law. "They can work for a company and give all their soul to make a product," he said, "and at the end of the day, they're disposed of like a plastic cup."
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