Governor Murphy Signs “Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights” into Law

Governor Phil Murphy today signed A1474/S511, commonly referred to as the “Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights.” This legislation significantly expands the rights and protections afforded to temporary workers, and was sent to the Governor’s desk after the Legislature concurred with changes recommended by the Governor last September.

“Our temporary workers, regardless of their race or status, are key contributors to the workforce in our state,” said Governor Murphy. “Signing the Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights establishes necessary guidelines for temporary help service firms and third-party clients to ensure that these workers are afforded basic protections and treated with the dignity they deserve. I am especially grateful to Senator Joe Cryan, Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez, and the many workers’ rights advocates for their leadership and tireless efforts on this issue.”

The bill allows for greater oversight of temporary help service firms and third-party clients by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) and the Division of Consumer Affairs (DCA) within the Department of Law and Public Safety. Under the bill, DCA will oversee enhanced certification requirements for temporary help service firms. Contracting with uncertified firms will be prohibited for third-party clients. Enforcement actions will fall under NJDOL’s purview.

“Every worker should be treated with respect and dignity. Thanks to the Murphy Administration and the Legislature, temporary workers will now have additional tools available to secure the fair wages and protections they are entitled to under the law – yet another advancement strengthening New Jersey as the gold standard for worker protections and development,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo.

In an effort to advance pay equity, the bill will allow for temporary workers to be paid at least the same average rate of pay and equivalent benefits as the third-party client’s permanent employees performing the same or similar work on jobs that require equal skill, effort, and responsibility. At the request of a temporary worker, temporary help service firms must hold daily wages and provide biweekly pay checks to avoid unnecessary check cashing fees that eat away at earnings. The bill also prohibits pay deductions for meals and equipment that would reduce temporary workers’ pay below minimum wage. Under a law signed by Governor Murphy in 2019, the minimum wage was set to gradually raise to $15 per hour by 2024 for most employees. The statewide minimum wage increased to $14.13, effective, January 1, 2023. Firms and third-party clients will also be prohibited from charging fees to transport temporary workers to their work sites.

Additionally, temporary help services must provide temporary workers with common sense information detailing key terms of employment in the workers’ primary languages, such as hours worked and rate of pay.

Temporary service firms are prohibited from restricting an employee from accepting another position with a permanent employer or a third-party client. Further, the bill forbids temporary help service firms or third-party clients from retaliating against any temporary worker by firing them or treating them unfairly in any other way for exercising their legal rights.

Prime sponsors of the legislation include Senator Joseph Cryan and Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez.

“Temporary workers will now have equal rights in the workplace. This is an invisible workforce that will now be protected against the abuses of unpaid wages, unsafe working conditions, unlawful deductions, and other forms of mistreatment. This Bill of Rights honors the core American values of hard work and dignity by ensuring that the growing number of temporary workers have their workplaces safe, wages paid for work completed, and most importantly, know that the law will protect them. In New Jersey, we respect all workers and we expect them to be treated fairly. This bill helps us achieve that goal,” said Senator Joseph Cryan.

“For the over 130,000 temporary workers in New Jersey and their families, the signing of A1474 represents a historic victory for labor rights,” said Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez. “Temporary workers have been treated differently for far too long and have been forced to deal with a multitude of injustices all while carrying out essential work and trying to provide for their families. The law will ensure temporary workers are finally protected and will create a safer and fairer temporary labor sector in New Jersey. I am proud of the work that went into this important legislation and that New Jersey’s temporary workers will have the same basic labor rights all workers are afforded and deserve.”

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  1. I have a nice idea , we should also report that income to the IRS and let the temporary migrants pay their fair share of taxes so they can feel the equality of us

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