New Jersey Enacted the Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights. Is Your Business in Compliance?
Recently, New Jersey passed the Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights. The Legislature found that over 130,000 temporary workers are employed by staffing agencies throughout the state, many of whom were unprotected or treated differently as compared to permanent employees. . Most of the provisions went into effect on August 5, 2023, but the notice and anti-retaliation provisions were earlier, on May 7, 2023.
The changes that were signed into law by Governor Murphy include the following:
- Staffing firms are required to pay temporary laborers the “same average rate of pay” as a permanent employee “performing the same or substantially similar work” and “performed under similar working conditions”;
- Even if there is no work at the job site, the staffing firm must pay the temporary worker “a minimum of four hours of pay at the agreed upon rate of pay,” unless that temporary worker can work at another site during the same shift, in which case the worker shall be paid “a minimum of two hours of pay” for that agreed-upon rate;
- As to the notice provision, the notice must be in English and the primary language of the temporary laborer. The notice also must provide the following:
(1) the name of the temporary laborer;
(2) the name, address, and telephone number of
(a) the temporary help service firm, or the contact information of the firm’s agent facilitating the placement;
(b) its workers’ compensation carrier;
(c) the worksite employer or third party client; and
(d) the Department of Labor and Workforce Development
(3) the name and nature of the work to be performed;
(4) the wages offered;
(5) the name and address of the assigned worksite of each temporary laborer;
(6) the terms of transportation offered to the temporary laborer, if applicable;
(7) a description of the position and whether it shall require any special clothing, protective equipment, and training, and what training and clothing will be provided by the temporary help service firm or the third party client; and any licenses and any costs charged to the employee for supplies or training;
(8) whether a meal or equipment, or both, are provided, either by the temporary help service firm or the third party client, and the cost of the meal and equipment, if any;
(9) for multi-day assignments, the schedule;
(10) the length of the assignment, if known; and
(11) the amount of sick leave to which temporary workers are entitled, and the terms of its use.
- The deduction made by the staffing firm to the temporary worker, and the purpose for which each deduction was made, including for food, equipment, withheld income tax, withheld Social Security deductions, withheld contributions to the state unemployment compensation trust fund and the state disability benefits trust fund, and every other deduction.
- The temporary service firm is required to keep all records regarding temporary workers for six (6) years. Relatedly, the third-party client is required to provide the staffing firm with the necessary information within seven (7) days of the last day of the work week worked by the temporary worker;
- The temporary worker can bring a civil action in the Superior Court, in the county where the alleged 5 offense occurred or where any temporary laborer who is party to the action resides, without the need to exhaust administrative remedies;
- Any termination or disciplinary action by a service firm against a temporary worker within 90 days of the worker’s exercise of its rights raises a rebuttable presumption of retaliation. In the event that the temporary worker is successful in its claim of retaliation, he or she would have the right to the greater of all legal or equitable relief as may be appropriate, or liquidated damages equal to $20,000 per incident of retaliation and reinstatement, if appropriate; along with attorneys’ fees and costs;
If you belong to a staffing agency, or you are a recipient of temporary workers through a staffing firm, then contact Erdal Employment Law at 973-559-7540, firstname.lastname@example.org, or here for help implementing these necessary changes under the Temporary Worker Bill of Rights!