On February 6, 2023, Governor Murphy signed a landmark law first-in the nation, The Temp Workers Bill of Rights, which gives dignity to temp workers in the workplace by expanding their rights. This effort was organized by New Labor and Make the Road New Jersey and is the result of a collective fight of dozens of organizations calling for an end to the injustice. There are at least 100 temp agencies, mostly in warehouses and the logistics industry, and more than 127,000 temp workers in New Jersey.
In 2016, NJ.com, Invisible Workplaces, which raised up the deplorable conditions temp workers face in New Jersey. The piece included several New Labor members. After this piece was published, New Labor members got together and crafted The Temp Workers Bill of Rights.
An initial bill was introduced in 2016 by Sheila Oliver and then reintroduced in 2018-2019 with Assemblyman Danielsen and Assemblywoman Lopez. Unfortunately, the pandemic hit and the bill was stalled. It was slightly revamped and reintroduced by Assemblywoman Lopez and Senator Cryan for 2022.
The Temporary Workers Bill of Rights law gives new rights to many temporary workers including:
• Receiving assignment information in your language
• Equal pay and benefits as client company employees doing same or very similar work
• No fees for transportation or check cashing
• Paid hours if your assignment is canceled or moved.
Temp firms and client companies can face penalties for violating the law.
About Make the Road New Jersey: Make the Road New Jersey builds the power of immigrant and working class people of color to achieve dignity and respect through community organizing, the provision of high quality legal and support services, policy innovation and transformative education.
MRNJ's Worker Justice Committee is comprised of low wage immigrant workers, primarily from the logistics sector, who have fought to win higher standards and build power in the job. In addition to winning a $15 minimum wage, the nation's strongest anti-wage theft law and first guarantee severance law and blocking Amazon's secret Air Hub from being built at the Newark Airport, this year MRNJ's Worker Justice Committee, along with New Labor and allies, won landmark protections for the state's hundreds of thousands of essential temp workers.
About New Labor: New Labor is an organization of mostly Latinx immigrant workers that educates, organizes and fights for better conditions of work. We run on collective power: ordinary people doing things together that no one could do on their own, like confronting workplace abuses, fighting for immigration reform and providing educational classes. New Labor lives and works by our shared principles: working together, creating opportunities, respect, equality, and empowerment.
New Labor was founded in 2000 in New Brunswick, NJ as an organization for temp workers that didn't have one. We have grown by developing worker leaders who identify and run campaigns. Through participatory research, mobilization, organizing and direct action, members and supporters have fought to recover unpaid wages and assure safe workplaces and transportation for tempo workers, and won the New Jersey Temp Worker Bill of Rights. Leaders are currently enforcing it through formal complaints and direct action! Similar efforts have meant winning earned sick time, minimum wage, drivers licenses for all, and we're continuing to fight for a domestic workers bill of rights.
Since our founding, we have over 5,000 members and additional centers Newark and Lakewood, NJ. Check us out: www.newlabor.org