Is it legal for a former employer I worked with via a temp agency to print an article I wrote without crediting me?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it legal for a former employer I worked with via a temp agency to print an article I wrote without crediting me?

I am in Los Angeles, CA and I specifically gave the publisher permission to use the article as long as I was properly credited as the author. I was the interim editor of a regional trade magazine and am also not credited as the editor of the issue. That portion makes sense since I was let go before the issue was really underway and only edited 2 or 3 articles. I’m not sure if they are quasi legal since I wrote the article as part of my editor duties. but am not listed in that issue as editorI was on contract through a temp agency with the understanding that I’d be hired full time until the day my assignment ended. I signed no paperwork with the company only with the temp agency.

Asked on August 12, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you wrote the article while working for this employer (even though the temp agency), it was a "work made for hire" and they own the rights to it. That means that they may publish it without crediting you if they choose--it is their article. They also are not requred to credit you as editor unless you had a written agreement--which you evidently did not--requring them to do so.

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