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The Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights


A new law called the “Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights” recognizes that temporary and staffing workers are at high risk for mistreatment by employers. Temporary workers are often paid far less than workers in traditional work arrangements and are less likely to receive benefits, like retirement and health benefits, from their employers. The new law aims to protect temporary workers from exploitation by imposing new requirements on the temporary staffing agencies that recruit and hire them. The Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights doesn’t apply to all temporary workers, but it does protect temporary workers in a wide range of jobs, including food preparation and processing, laundry and dry cleaning, textile work, construction, building and grounds maintenance, landscaping, security guards, and more.

Some key protections under the Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights include:

  • Temporary staffing agencies must provide temporary workers with written information about the terms of the jobs to which they send them. This includes information about the worker’s schedule, rate of pay, job location, length of the job, workers’ rights, etc. The staffing agencies must also provide this information in the languages that are generally spoken by the temporary workers.
  • Temporary workers must receive the same rate of pay as permanent workers performing similar work (and hired at the same time).
  • Temporary staffing agencies may no longer charge temporary workers for transportation, background checks, or cashing paychecks.
  • If a temporary staffing agency assigns a temporary worker to a worksite, but it turns out there is no work available that day, the temporary agency must still pay the worker for at least four hours of work. If the worker is sent to work at another site during that same shift, the agency must still pay the worker for at least two hours.
  • Temporary staffing agencies cannot make workers use agency-provided transportation to job sites. If a staffing agency provides transportation to the job site, it is responsible for the behavior and performance of the driver.
  • Temporary staffing agencies cannot prevent workers from accepting permanent jobs if offered.
  • Temporary staffing agencies must keep employment records for at least six years.
  • Temporary staffing agencies must provide temporary workers with itemized pay statements that include information about the job placement worksites, hours worked, rate of pay, earnings, and deductions.

Workers may report violations of the new law to the Wage and Hour Division of the New Jersey Department of Labor. Retaliation for reporting violations is, of course, unlawful. The New Jersey Department of Labor may impose administrative penalties on temporary staffing agencies that violate the Temporary Workers Bill of Rights. Workers also have the right to sue temporary staffing agencies for violations in the Superior Court of New Jersey. See Temporary Workers (from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development) for more information on the Temporary Workers Bill of Rights.