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NJ Gov. Phil Murphy signs bill to protect temp workers

NJ Gov. Phil Murphy signs bill to protect temp workers

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed new protections for short-term workers into regulation on Monday, after a years-long push by labor and immigrant teams to regulate the sprawling temp business.

The measure clamps down on the state’s staffing businesses, which make use of about 130,000 temp workers, shuttling them to labor principally in warehouses. Staffing businesses have to be registered with the state, and people who violate the brand new guidelines may face $5,000 fines.

Beneath the regulation, staffing businesses have to pay temp workers the identical charges and provide equal advantages to these everlasting workers employed on the similar third-party websites obtain. Businesses can also’t make unitemized paycheck deductions for meals, which regularly go away workers with below-minimum-wage pay. Additionally they can’t deduct for transportation prices. Temp workers at the moment are entitled to fundamental details about the place they are going to be working for the day and their pay charge, the regulation states.

“Our temporary workers, regardless of their race or status, are key contributors to the workforce in our state,” Murphy mentioned in an announcement on Monday. “Signing the Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights establishes necessary guidelines for temporary help service firms and third-party clients to ensure that these workers are afforded basic protections and treated with the dignity they deserve.”

The bill was first launched in December 2021 by Sen. Joe Cryan, D-Union. However the measure had a protracted route to closing passage.

A procedural error pressured the state Senate to take a second vote final 12 months, and Murphy then vetoed that model of the bill, saying he wished legislators to add $1 million to implement the bill and tighten the definition of a temp employee. However the amended model confronted legislative delays for months after a handful of Senate Democrats pulled their help, and the bill didn’t have sufficient votes to cross.

Final week, the Senate lastly accepted the measure.

“This is an invisible workforce that will now be protected against the abuses of unpaid wages, unsafe working conditions, unlawful deductions, and other forms of mistreatment,” Cryan mentioned in an announcement Monday.

Labor and immigrant teams lobbied exhausting for the bill, and for years have tried to convey extra consideration to office circumstances for temp workers. In 2020, Gothamist reported temp businesses have been cramming workers into vans with out correct security precautions as state officers urged folks to social distance to cease the unfold of the pandemic. The brand new regulation requires vans to have seats and a seatbelts for every employee.

“Too many temp workers have lost their lives on the job or been subject to wage theft or retaliation. Today marks the beginning of a new chapter where temp workers will have the respect, dignity and safety they deserve,” Janeth Caicedo, a member of Make the Highway New Jersey mentioned in an announcement.

The New Jersey Staffing Alliance, which represents staffing businesses, lobbied in opposition to the bill, arguing it might drive up prices for temp businesses and their shoppers — and finally price workers jobs. It has not but returned requests for remark made Monday afternoon.

The bill’s provisions take impact in 90 days.

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