On February 6, 2023, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law the Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights (“TWBR”) The enactment the TWBR marked a significant stride forward towards ensuring fair and just treatment for all New Jersey workers because it elevates labor standards and holds employers accountable.

The TWBR protects a category of workers known as “temporary laborers.” These temporary laborers include workers in diverse fields such as construction, service and food preparation, installation, repair, and many others. Specific examples of covered occupations under the law range from construction labors, security guards, and janitors. The Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights ensures that a diverse range of temporary workers receive their essential protections and rights.

Furthermore, the TWBR outlines specific pay requirements to guarantee fair compensation for temporary workers in various scenarios. First, if a temporary worker is assigned to a location where there is no work available or if they are transferred to another location, they are still entitled to be paid for their hours. Additionally, if a temporary worker is scheduled to work for a third-party client but their services are not needed, they must be compensated with a minimum of four hours’ pay for the cancelled shift at the agreed upon rate of pay. Furthermore, if a temporary worker is asked to change locations during their shift, they must receive a minimum of two hours of pay for the change in location at the agreed upon rate of pay. The temporary agency is also responsible for compensating them for any hours worked at the new location. TWBR requires temporary workers to be fairly compensated for their time and efforts, even in situations where their assignments may change unexpectedly.

Another provision included in the TWBR relates to transportation to worksites and wages to protect the rights and interests of temporary workers. Specific to transportation, temporary help service firms are prohibited from charging temporary workers for transportation to and from worksites. Additionally, these temporary service firms cannot instruct workers to travel to worksites with anyone except for: (1) public mass transportation systems or (2) providing the transportation at no fee. This law allows temporary workers to not be burdened with transportation costs and are provided with safe and efficient means of travel to their assigned worksites. The law also mandates that temporary workers must receive compensation equal to or greater than the combined average of the wage rate and benefits, or the cash equivalent, provided to the employees of the third-party client engaged in comparable tasks requiring equivalent skill, effort, responsibility, and conducted under similar working conditions.

The TWBR also includes anti-retaliation provisions that prohibit both temporary agencies and third-party clients from engaging in any form of retaliation against temporary workers for exercising their rights under the law. Under the law, retaliation is defined as any adverse action taken (e.g. termination or demotion). If a temporary worker (1) files a complaint, (2) cooperates with an investigation, (3) tells others about an alleged violations, or (4) informs others of their rights within 90 days, and the temporary help service firm or third-party client takes adverse action against that temporary worker, the law required the New Jersey Department of Labor to deduce there has been unlawful retaliation.

As of August 5, 2023, a temporary worker who has suffered harm from temporary help service firms may file a lawsuit against these agencies in the New Jersey Superior Court. Moreover, the temporary worker may seek money damages for certain violations of the new law and may seek money damages and/or reinstatement if it is found by a court that the temporary help service firm retaliated against the temporary laborer or exercising their rights under the law.

Overall, the enactment of the TWBR reflects the collective efforts of advocates, legislators, and workers in championing the rights of temporary workers. As New Jersey sets higher labor standards, the TWBR serves as a beacon of hope for workers nationwide, signaling a transformative shift towards a more equitable treatment of wages for all workers.

If you believe you have been or are being denied all legal wages earned under New Jersey’s Wage Payment Law, New Jersey Wage and Hour Law and/or the TWBR, immediately call the attorneys at Mashel Law (732) 536-6161 or fill out the contact form on this page for help. At Mashel Law, LLC, located in Marlboro, New Jersey, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of employees.

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