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New Jersey Proposes Legislation Requiring Equal Pay for Temporary Workers

The New Jersey Legislature is considering a revised bill from Governor Murphy, which among other things, would require businesses to pay temporary workers no less than the average rate of pay and equivalent benefits offered to its’ regular employees. The bill as originally passed by the New Jersey Legislature was conditionally vetoed by Governor Murphy, who has proposed revisions to the bill. Governor Murphy has made clear that if his revisions are accepted by the Legislature, he will promptly sign it into law.

The bill would only apply to occupations “most vulnerable to exploitation” such as food service work, construction labor, security guards, building maintenance, cleaning, landscaping, factory and transportation work.

Other key items included in the bill are the ability of temporary workers to sue both the temporary agency and the third-party employer for violations of the law, either individually or in class actions and increased recordkeeping requirements for temporary agencies which would require the agency to keep specific records for each temporary worker provided to a third-party to perform work, including:

  • The location of the worksite;
  • The type and number of hours worked;
  • The hourly rate;
  • A copy of any contract pursuant to which the temporary worker is performing work; and
  • The deductions from the workers’ pay.

Businesses and temporary agencies that violate the law will be subject to civil penalties, including financial penalties for recordkeeping violations, with each day of non-compliance constituting a separate offense.

Next Steps for Employers

Temporary agencies and third-party companies using temporary labor agencies should continue to monitor the status of this proposed legislation and consult with their legal counsel to prepare for any potential compensation, benefits and recordkeeping obligations that may result if the bill is signed into law.

HR Works will continue to monitor this topic and provide updates as needed.

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.