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What you need to know about New Jersey’s Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2023 | Employee Rights |

Many legal protections for workers only apply to direct-hire employees. Temporary workers are often excluded, even when they do the same work and for the same hours as those paid directly by the business. Working for a third-party temp service typically means you get paid less and get no benefits like paid time off or health insurance.

A new law enacted in New Jersey is meant to give temporary workers a boost. Called the “Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights,” the law is being described by state officials as “a major victory for temporary workers” in the Garden State. Among the changes contained in the law:

  • Temp workers may earn at least the average rate of pay and equivalent benefits as employees for performing the same or similar work on jobs of equal skill, effort and responsibility.
  • Temp workers will have the right to request biweekly paychecks to avoid unnecessary check-cashing fees.
  • A ban on wage deductions for meals and equipment to the extent that such deductions would put the worker under the minimum wage.

The Bill of Rights will also more closely regulate how temp agencies operate. State departments like the Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the Division of Consumer Affairs will have greater oversight of these businesses’ practices. Also, temp agencies can no longer restrict a worker from accepting a job with another agency or permanent employer. The Bill of Rights also specifically prohibits retaliating against a worker, such as by firing them, for exercising their legal rights.

Enforcing your rights as a New Jersey worker

Expanding workers’ rights is good for everyone who earns a paycheck in New Jersey. But most of the time, you must enforce these rights yourself, whether through a complaint to the appropriate government agency or litigation.