Job protections for temp workers go into effect

By: - May 8, 2023 6:45 am

Temporary workers in New Jersey this week get a host of new protections intended to prevent wage theft and exploitative job conditions.

New Jersey’s 127,000 temporary workers will walk into work this week with a new set of protections that are going into effect after years of advocacy by immigration and labor activists.

The protections, which were at the center of a monthslong legislative saga, were created after years of workers reporting exploitative job conditions and wage theft. These workers, who are technically employed by temporary staffing agencies that place them with third-party clients, say they are often “perma-temp” employees, forced to work side-by-side with full-time workers without the same protections and benefits.

Starting this week, temporary workers will benefit from a law that narrowly passed the Legislature and was signed by Gov. Phil Murphy in February. The law, known among workers and their advocates as the “temp worker bill of rights,” provides a sweeping set of protections supporters say are the first of their kind in the nation.

Staffing agencies must now provide temporary workers with basic information about their job assignments in their native language, including details about:

  • Name and location of the worksite.
  • Pay rate.
  • Transportation to and from the worksite.
  • Job description, including nature of the work, responsibilities and whether special clothing or protective equipment is necessary or provided.
  • Schedule, including hours and the length of the assignment if it is multiple days. 
  • Sick leave or paid time off.
  • Whether a meal is offered.

In addition, firms must provide a 48-hour notice to the temporary worker if there is a change in their schedule or the location of the work assignment. If the job is over the course of multiple days, the agency must provide this information on the first day, and any time the terms of employment change. 

Staffing agencies and business organizations have argued the new mandates are onerous and could put many agencies out of business. Many more of the law’s provisions go into effect later this year.

Staffing agencies face heavy fines for violating job notice requirements, ranging from $500 to $1,000. 

Agencies can also be fined if they retaliate against workers for making complaints to community organizations, in public hearings, or to state or federal agencies.

More provisions relating to record keeping, fee deductions, wage regulations, transportation to worksites and work verification forms will go into effect on Aug. 5.


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Sophie Nieto-Munoz
Sophie Nieto-Munoz

Sophie Nieto-Muñoz, a New Jersey native and former Trenton statehouse reporter for, shined a spotlight on the state’s crumbling unemployment system and won several awards for investigative reporting from the New Jersey Press Association. She was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists for her report on PetSmart's grooming practices, which was also recognized by the New York Press Club. Sophie speaks Spanish and is proud to connect to the Latinx community through her reporting.