Q: Can a contract firm have its employees work directly for a client indefinitely for part of its core busines?
A CRO (contract research organization) does contract research work for biotech firms (the clients). Usually, the work is project-based and temporary when the client doesn’t have enough in-house employees to do the work, and the CRO follows its own SOPs and uses its own systems. However, clients and CROs are now using CRO employees to fulfill whole core business functions for clients on a regular basis, requiring their employees to train on and work with the client’s SOPs, tools, and systems, and they are expected to work on any project as it comes up, and this can go on for an indefinite period (contracts are for 2 years but usually get renewed b/c there’s an investment in trained workers). The employee’s manager is with the CRO, but someone at the client also provides oversight and performance feedback. The employee is paid far less than if they worked directly for the client (eg, 25k). Q: Is this legal?
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