On February 6, 2023, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a new law, New Jersey Bill A1474, seeking to ensure basic protections and dignity for temporary workers. The “Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights” will go into effect on August 5, 2023. The law seeks to ensure that the 127,000 temporary workers in New Jersey, who are disproportionately Black and Latino, are offered equivalent rights at work as their permanent counterparts. The law also seeks to end the 41% pay gap between temporary and permanent workers in New Jersey.

The bill requires that temporary help service firms ensure that temporary workers receive the same pay and benefits direct-hire employees would receive for similar work. Where employers offer a range of benefit plans based on position, they must explain why they offer specific packages to temporary employees. Under the law, affected employees may file a civil action in the Superior Court of the county either where the violation occurred or where the employee resides.

The law also requires temporary help service firms to offer greater transparency to their hires. The law requires that temporary help firms must provide temporary employees information regarding the job’s pay, location, schedule, legal employer, the nature of the work to be conducted, along with other basic details.

The law covers a wide range of job fields, including construction, logistics, manufacturing, security, and service. However, the bill excludes many workers such as health care workers, business professionals, IT workers, salespeople, and secretaries, as well as agricultural workers registered under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act.

Worker advocacy groups have celebrated the law as adding much needed regulation to a form of employment which has created a class of under-protected “perma-temp” employees.