The new Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights law, signed by Gov. Phil Murphy last month, expands the rights and protections of temporary workers in New Jersey while placing a wide range of obligations on both staffing agencies and employers that use them.
Connell Foley Attorneys Michael A. Shadiack and Caitlin Dettmer recently explained the law’s key requirements and the dates that different provisions take effect. Their blog post can be found on Connell Foley’s website here.
“With some provisions becoming effective as early as May 7, 2023, staffing agencies and employers should use this time to set themselves up for success and review whether their current contracts and policies comply with the new requirements,” said Shadiack, who chairs Connell Foley’s Labor and Employment Practice.
The new law, P.L.2023 c.10, signed on Feb. 6, targets “temporary help service firms,” commonly called staffing agencies, that make “designated classification placements” of temporary workers with “third-party clients.”
What Workers Are Covered by the Law?
Under the law, a “designated classification placement” is a worker assigned by the temporary help service firm to work at job that falls under any of these U.S. Department of Labor classification codes:
- 33-9000 Other Protective Service Workers
- 35-0000 Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations
- 37-0000 Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations
- 39-0000 Personal Care and Service Occupations
- 47-2060 Construction Laborers
- 47-3000 Helpers, Construction Trades
- 49-0000 Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations;
- 51-0000 Production Occupations
- 53-0000 Transportation and Material Moving Occupations
- Any successor categories as the Bureau of Labor Statistics may designate.
What Provisions Take Effect on May 7?
The law’s written hiring notice provision and prohibition on retaliation take effect on May 7.
Staffing agencies are required to provide “covered workers” in the designated classification placements listed above with a written notice in English and the worker’s primary language with the following information when he or she is dispatched to work for a third-party client:
- The name of the covered worker;
- The name, address and telephone number of the staffing agency or the contact information of 1. the staffing agency’s agent facilitating the placement; 2. its workers’ compensation carrier; 3. the worksite employer or employer; and 4. the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development
- The name and nature of the work to be performed;
- The wages offered;
- The name and address of the assigned worksite of each temporary laborer;
- The terms of transportation offered to the temporary laborer, if applicable;
- A description of the position and whether it shall require any special clothing, protective equipment, and training, and what training and clothing will be provided by the staffing agency or the employer; and any licenses and any costs charged to the employee for supplies or training;
- Whether a meal or equipment, or both, are provided, either by the staffing agency or the employer and the cost of the meal and equipment, if any;
- For multi-day assignments, the schedule;
- The length of the assignment, if known; and
- The amount of sick leave to which temporary workers are entitled under the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law, and the terms of its use.
Staffing agencies are also required to provide no less than 48 hours’ notice, where possible, of any changes in schedule, shift, or location.
The law’s anti-retaliation provision also takes effect on May 7. Disciplinary action taken against a covered worker within 90 days of that worker exercising their rights under the law raises a rebuttable presumption of retaliation. Violations carry a hefty fine or damages equal to $20,000 per incident of retaliation, plus reinstatement of the worker if requested.
What Provisions Take Effect on Aug. 5?
Most other provisions of the law take effect on Aug. 5. These include:
- New recordkeeping requirements
- New pay requirements (including detailed paystubs or other approved form)
- Certification requirements for staffing agencies (including fines for third-party employers who contract with uncertified staffing agencies)
- Ban on “non-competes” that restrict temporary workers from accepting employment offers from businesses where they have been assigned
- Provisions affecting transportation provided by staff agencies to job sites
- Private right of action provision that gives covered workers, staffing agencies and employers who use staffing agencies six years to file a lawsuit over violations of the law.
More information about an employer’s responsibilities under the provisions that take effect on Aug. 5 can be found on Connell Foley’s website here.