February 7, 2023
On February 6, 2023, Governor Phil Murphy signed S511/A1471, the "Temp Workers Bill of Rights", into law, after the legislation faced many rounds of debate, multiple revisions, and a previous conditional veto from the Governor.
Governor Murphy conditionally vetoed the legislation in September of 2022, commending the vision of the bill, but calling for a series of technical changes. The New Jersey Assembly quickly passed an amended version of the legislation that aligned with the Governor's conditions, and while the Senate delayed its vote many times, the Senate passed the legislation last Thursday.
The newly signed legislation expands the rights and protections afforded to temporary workers in New Jersey and imposes certain requirements for temp agencies, such as prohibiting them from charging excessive fees and requiring they meet minimum-wage thresholds. Additionally, it provides temporary workers in New Jersey the right to basic information about their roles such as locations, pay rates, schedules, type of work, and sick time available - all in English and other native languages.
The Temp Workers Bill of Rights also protects temp workers from retaliation for exercising any of their newly codified rights.
The legislation is expected to impact hundreds of thousands of temporary workers in New Jersey. As reported on njbiz.com, the growing temp industry is fueled in part by a boom in warehouses and e-commerce businesses, with estimates of at least 127,000 people working for approximately 100 such companies alone.
New Jersey Department of Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo was quoted on njbiz.com saying, "Every worker should be treated with respect and dignity . . . Thanks to the Murphy Administration and the Legislature, temporary workers will now have additional tools available to secure the fair wages and protections they are entitled to under the law - yet another advancement strengthening New Jersey as the gold standard for worker protections and development."
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