Staffing firms and temporary agencies are already feeling the effects of New Jersey’s Temporary Workers Bill of Rights, which went into effect on August 5, 2023, and already requires compliance for all staffing firms and temporary agencies. The law specifically applies to workers placed in security, restaurant, personal care, cleaning and maintenance, construction, repair, transportation, production, and material moving occupations. The Bill of Rights applies to employees hired to work within the state of New Jersey, as well as assignments outside the state of New Jersey if the worker’s primary residence is within the state of New Jersey.
The Temporary Workers Bill of Rights requires all temporary employees and employees placed with a client company by a temporary agency or staffing firm to be paid no less than the average rate of pay and cost of benefits paid to direct workers of the client company.
Temporary agencies and staffing firms are prohibited from restricting the rights of employees to accept permanent employment, restricts the amount the agencies can charge in placement fees, and requires temporary agencies and staffing firms to provide employees with disclosures upon the acceptance of the assignment and itemized wage statements during the assignment.
Itemized wage statements must include:
- The name, address and telephone number of each third-party client at which the temporary worker worked during that pay period;
- The number of hours worked by the temporary worker at each third-party client on each day during that pay period;
- The total pay period earnings, and the hourly rate, including any premium rate or bonus;
- The total amount of each deduction made from the temporary worker’s wages including the purpose of the deduction;
- The current maximum amount of a placement fee that may be charged to the third-party client should it wish to directly hire the temporary worker;
- The total amount charged by the temporary help service firm to the third-party client for the services of the temporary worker during that pay period;
- Total cost to the temporary help service firm of benefits provided to the temporary worker during that pay period; and
- The amount of New Jersey paid sick leave to which workers are entitled under New Jersey law and how to use it.
Employers must also use a template issued by the state of New Jersey to inform all temporary employees of the name and location of the third party client, the information for the staffing firm or temporary agency’s workers compensation carrier, the nature of the work being performed, a description of the position, wages or salaries, whether training is required for the position, whether meals and/or equipment will be provided by the employee, whether the employee will require special clothing or personal protective equipment for the position, whether a license is required for the position, and whether transportation is provided. This statement must be provided to the temporary worker before the first day of the assignment.
The template may be found at https://www.nj.gov/labor/wageandhour/assets/PDFs/Forms%20and%20Publications/MW-23%20(5-17-23).pdf.
Compliance with the Temporary Workers Bill of Rights is not optional. Civil penalties for violations of the law, penalties for recordkeeping violations, and retaliation lawsuits by affected workers are all potential financial minefields that could have devastating effects on staffing firms and temporary agencies. Turn to myHRcounsel to understand the new law that already applies to your firm or agency and to avoid disastrous consequences for noncompliance.