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New Jersey Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights

April 6, 2023 | posted by Abacus Payroll

In February 2023, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed the state’s “Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights” into law. This bill protects the rights of temporary workers and ensures that they are treated fairly. The first of its kind in the nation, this new measure applies only to third-party temporary workers and their agencies and does not apply to temporary or seasonal employees placed under an employer’s own payroll.

Who does this impact?

Effective 90 days from February 6, the Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights aims to level the playing field so that, regardless of race or status, temporary workers receive the same pay, protections, and benefits as equivalent employees would.  The new protections are welcome to nearly 130,000 temporary state workers that contract for employment with a temporary help service firm or staffing agency. Many entry-level jobs for immigrants and other unskilled workers are represented by third-party firms or agencies for New Jersey’s many warehouse, distribution, food service, construction, maintenance, landscaping, transportation, and agricultural jobs.
Going forward, staffing agencies will be required to register with the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce. Third-party employers will face consequences if using an unregistered agency. To meet the Bill of Rights compliance requirements, employers may have to conduct additional calculations to determine the average cost of benefits for the temporary workers. To prevent workarounds, third-party employers will be barred from utilizing temporary. Furthermore, employers are also prohibited from retaliating against temporary workers.

What are the NJ Temporary Workers Bill of Rights?

These “Bill of Rights” items ensure a fair living wage to temporary workers in designated industry classifications. New protections include:

  • Equal-pay-equal-benefit: Temporary workers must be paid at least the same average rate of pay and equivalent benefits (or cash equivalent) 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 paychecks to avoid check cashing fees that may reduce earnings. The bill prohibits pay deductions for meals and equipment that would reduce temporary workers’ pay below minimum wage.
  • Temporary help service firms must pay workers for a minimum of four hours when they are assigned to work for a client, but no work is available.
  • Temporary help service firms cannot interfere with workers’ rights to accept employment with the companies in which they are placed on a temporary basis.
  • Firms and third-party clients are prohibited from charging fees to transport temporary workers to their work sites.
  • Temporary workers must be provided with information detailing key terms of employment in the workers’ primary languages, such as hours worked and rate of pay.
  • Firms must keep certain records of each temporary labor engagement (including the location of the work site, the type and number of hours worked, and the hourly rate) for a period of six years.
  • Must promptly provide certain information about the assignment to the staffing firm (no later than seven days following the last day of the work week worked by the temporary laborer) as well as provide a work verification form to each temporary laborer who is contracted to work for a single day.
  • Employers also must reimburse staffing firms for wages and related payroll taxes for services performed by temporary workers as per the payment terms of their agreements with the firms.

(Source: Genova Burns LLC )

Temporary workers are those that contract for employment with a temporary help service firm. This protects these employees from wage or benefit discrimination while also providing them with additional tools to secure these protections. The new law requires temporary help service firms to provide a temporary employee in a designated class placement with a written statement in English and the employee’s primary language that contains the specific itemized information for the position at the time of dispatch.


Applicable occupational categories:

  • Other Protective Service Workers (33-9000)
  • Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations (35-0000)
  • Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations (37-0000)
  • Personal Care and Service Occupations (39-0000)
  • Construction Laborers (47-2060)
  • Helpers, Construction Trades (47-30000)
  • Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations (49-0000)
  • Production Occupations (51-0000)
  • Transportation and Material Moving Occupations (53-0000)
  • Or any successor categories as the Bureau of Labor Statistics may designate

What does this new law mean for your business?

If your business falls into one of the designated classifications and contracts a third-party placement provider for temporary workers, you need to pay attention. While responsibility to abide by the Bill of Rights falls on both the third-party firm/agency and the employer, the employer does have extra steps to ensure compliance.

Employers now have additional recordkeeping requirements, and must examine their workforce and identify full and temporary positions that require equal skill, effort, and responsibility. Employers and HR also have to determine which benefit packages they are offering their employees, full-time and temporary, and assign a corresponding value. Ensuring that both types of employees have access to the benefits and resources that your business is able to provide is essential to abiding by the Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights. It prohibits pay deductions for meals and equipment that would reduce a temporary employee’s pay below minimum wage.

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