The provisions of the state’s new temporary workers law will take effect as scheduled next week under a judge’s ruling that rejected a request by several business groups to stop its implementation while a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the statute proceeds.
U.S. District Court Judge Christine O’Hearn on Wednesday denied the injunction request sought by the New Jersey Staffing Alliance, NJBIA, and American Staffing Association. This means certain provisions of the law will take effect as scheduled Aug. 5, such as the requirement that temporary workers receive the same average wages and benefits, or the cash equivalent of benefits, given to the employer’s regular staff.
NJBIA said Thursday it was disappointed by the decision. While NJBIA does not oppose the intent of the law to provide protection and transparency for temp workers, the provisions regarding wages and benefits will cause insurmountable problems for temp agencies and drive many out of business.
Temp agencies contract with numerous employers that offer regular employees different benefit packages for health insurance, life insurance and retirement plans, among other unique benefits. Calculating the value of these benefits offered by each employer and providing temporary workers with the cash equivalent is unworkable and will lead to temporary workers being paid more than the employer’s regular workers – even though regular workers may have more seniority and experience.
The law was signed in February and had different implementation dates for its provisions. Under provisions that took effect in May, agencies are required to give temp workers basic information in English and their native language about where they will be working, the pay rate, their schedule, what kind of work they will be doing, and the amount of sick time they have.
The provisions that take effect Aug. 5 cover wages and cash equivalent of benefits, as well as a requirement that workers be paid for a minimum of four hours’ work when workers are sent to third-party sites and clients decide not to utilize the workers.
The Department of Labor and Workforce Development recently published draft rules to implement and enforce the law, which can be read here.