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Potential Bill In New Jersey To Improve Working Conditions For Temporary Workers

Potential Bill In New Jersey To Improve Working Conditions For Temporary Workers

The Temporary Worker’s Bill of Rights or, Senate Bill 511, is now being considered with revisions made by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. After originally vetoing this bill, he claimed to "wholeheartedly support the overarching objectives," and proposed additional revisions. If the legislature accepts his revisions, Gov. Phil Murphy said he will sign it into law.

The Temporary Worker's Bill Of Rights

Senate Bill 511 would require businesses to provide temporary workers with:

  • At least minimum wage
  • Equal benefits that are offered to their full-time employees

In addition, the bill aims to address discriminatory workplace practices and promote gender and racial pay equity. Pay equity is the idea of compensating employees with similar job functions with comparably equal pay, regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity. This means that if two different jobs contribute equal value to their employer’s operations, then employees in those positions should be receiving equal pay.

Temporary agencies would also be required to keep written records of pertinent employment information, including: 

  • Location of the worksite
  • Number of hours worked
  • Rate of pay for each employee
  • A copy of any contract pursuant to which the temporary worker is performing work
  • Any deduction from the worker's pay

Should this bill pass, it would allow temporary employees to sue the temporary labor agency and the third-party company for violations of the bill. Any business or temporary agency that violates the bill will be subject to civil penalties, such as financial penalties, with each day of not complying constituting a separate offense.

Additionally, Gov. Murphy proposed that this bill only applies to occupations that are most vulnerable to exploitation which include the following:

  • Construction labor
  • Security services
  • Cleaning
  • Landscaping
  • Food service
  • And more

He also calls for one million dollars to be appropriated for the Department of Labor and Workforce Development which ensures vigorous enforcement of the new protections.

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