Recent research on temporary work has suggested that temporary work experiences vary greatly in quality. In light of concerns about diminished quality of some temporary work experiences, we suggest that temporary workers may experience a variety of stressful work situations that could precipitate detrimental outcomes not only for these workers, but also for their co-workers and organizations. Using a multi-wave survey of temporary workers, this study examines the relationship between economic, interpersonal, and organizational stressors and counterproductive work behaviour (CWB). Specifically, we hypothesize that economic stressors (operationalized as economic hardship and job insecurity), interpersonal conflict and organizational constraints will predict the extent to which temporary workers perform CWB via emotional exhaustion and moral disengagement pathways. Three waves of data show that temporary workers experiencing higher levels of economic hardship, interpersonal conflict and organizational constraints reported greater emotional exhaustion, which was linked to increased frequency of CWBs. Additionally, higher levels of job insecurity and interpersonal conflict were related to higher levels of moral disengagement, which related to increased frequency of CWBs. These findings highlight relationships of different stressors with emotional and cognitive reactions that may trigger CWB in temporary workers. © 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.