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Pending New Jersey Bill Aims to End Discrimination Against Temporary Workers

Pending New Jersey Bill Aims to End Discrimination Against Temporary Workers

New Jersey’s warehouse and e-commerce sectors are booming but the growth depends in large part on the state’s 125,000-plus temp workers, who are disproportionately Black and Latino, and who are routinely paid less than permanent workers. State lawmakers are working on a bill called The Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights to extend equal rights to temp workers.

The proposed law would require staffing agencies to do the following:

  • Pay temp workers not paid less than minimum wage after meal and equipment deductions
  • Pay temp workers at a rate no less than the average rate of pay received by permanent employees who do similar work
  • Provide workers with details about job location, pay and other requirements in both English and the worker’s primary language
  • Not charge workers extra transportation fees to from a worksite
  • Not try to prevent a temp worker leaving to take a permanent job

The law would also protect temp workers from retaliation for exercising their civil rights. Staffing agencies would be subject to various penalties for violating temp workers’ rights, including fines of $5,000 a day for each day of non-compliance.

Gov. Phil Murphy conditionally vetoed the bill on technical grounds in early October 2022, sending it back to lawmakers to make tweaks. In issuing the veto, the governor was careful to point out that he “wholeheartedly support[s] the overarching objectives of this bill.” In fact, one reason he sent the bill back to the legislature was to suggest that lawmakers appropriate $1 million to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to enforce the law’s provisions.

As a law firm focused on employee rights, we support the Temporary’ Worker’s Bill of Rights and the protections it extends to some of the state’s most vulnerable workers. For too long, temp workers have suffered wage discrimination and other exploitative conduct and had to live with it because they had fewer rights. Once this bill becomes law, we hope temp workers will no longer be afraid to stand up for themselves. We’ll be there to help them do it.

Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in Hackensack represents employees and temp workers in cases involving discrimination, wage and hour disputes, harassment, retaliation and more. If you believe your employer or agency is mistreating you, call our Hackensack office at 551-245-8894 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

Neil  H.  Deutsch Attorney Photo
Neil H. Deutsch
Retired

About Neil H. Deutsch has been practicing law for over 35 years and is known as a skilled negotiator in employment and discrimination law. He believes in a bottom-line approach of risk analysis and cost effectiveness for his clients. "Case evaluation is something we take seriously," says Mr. Deutsch who seeks top net dollar for…

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Bruce L. Atkins
Senior Partner

About Bruce L. Atkins is regarded as one of New Jersey’s premier practitioners of employment and civil litigation. He has been selected to the New Jersey Super Lawyers prestigious list every year since 2005.  This honor, bestowed upon a recipient by the votes of his peers, is a powerful nod to the skill Mr. Atkins…

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Adam J. Kleinfeldt
Partner

About Adam J. Kleinfeldt joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in March of 2015.  He primarily represents individuals in employment litigations such as discrimination, retaliation, and whistle blowing matters.  He has extensive experience in all phases of the litigation process. Adam has obtained significant results for some of his clients, including a $525,000 jury verdict…

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Diane Englander Peyser
Attorney

About Diane Englander Peyser joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in September 2018 where she represents employees in wrongful termination, retaliation, harassment, and discrimination matters. Prior to joining Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C., Diane represented clients in all aspects of employment law on behalf of employees involving unemployment appeals, claims of sexual harassment, LGBT discrimination,…

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Debra M. McGarvey
Attorney

About Debra M. McGarvey joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in December 2019. She has extensive experience defending employees and employers in state and federal court in employment litigation matters. She has represented clients on various issues arising out of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA),…

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