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Law Signed to Protect Temporary Workers in New Jersey

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crop workers picking seasonal farm crops

Governor Phil Murphy recently enacted a law to protect temporary workers in the Garden State. The Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights expands the rights and protections of many temporary laborers. It allows for greater oversight of temporary help service firms and third-party clients by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) and the Division of Consumer Affairs.

The first portions of the law took effect in May, which included requirements for agencies to give temporary workers information in English and their native language about where they will be working, the pay rate, their schedule, the type of work they will be doing, and their amount of sick time.

Late last month, the U.S. District Court declined to issue an injunction sought by a group of business and staffing organizations that argued the wage and labor provisions would drive many temp agencies out of business.

The remaining portions of the law took effect on August 5th. The additional provisions include:

  • Temporary help service firms must keep records of work assignments and maintain them for six years.
  • Rules on transportation of temporary laborers to and from worksites regarding the safety, cost, records, and liability of transportation services provided or referred by temp firms.
  • Covered temporary laborers cannot be paid less than the average rate of pay and the average cost of benefits of employees doing the same or similar work.
  • Temp firms must notify temporary laborers of the right to request bi-weekly checks and payments via check, cash, or direct deposit. They cannot charge for check cashing fees, consumer reports, criminal background checks, or drug tests.
  • Temp firms must provide statements to each temporary laborer with information on third-party clients the laborer worked for, the number of hours worked for each client, rate of pay, total earnings, and deductions.
  • Third-party clients must provide temporary laborers with work verification forms.
  • Temp firms may not restrict the right of temporary laborers to accept a permanent position with a third-party client but may charge a placement fee to the client in such instances.
  • Temporary laborers can file a complaint with NJDOL or bring a private civil suit in the county where a violation occurred or where the worker lives.

The recent provisions were championed by advocacy groups, including Make the Road New Jersey, temporary workers, bill sponsors, labor department officials, and other stakeholders. Temporary workers expressed that the Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights is long overdue and much needed.

Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. has over 4O years of experience protecting New Jersey workers’ rights and best interests. Call 215-569-1999 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients in Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey.

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