Temp workers’ bill of rights? NJ biz group says it could backfire
A measure, A1474, that could soon be approved by the State Senate calls for establishing a temporary workers' bill of rights.
It was crafted to offer protections to temporary workers, but New Jersey’s leading business group is warning just the opposite may happen.
According to Alexis Bailey, the vice president of government affairs for the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, the bill would provide additional notifications for temps about their work assignments and locations, which is good, but there are concerns about provisions in the measure dealing with compensation and benefits.
She said the legislation stipulates a temporary worker has to be paid the same average rate of compensation as someone doing a similar job in the company as well as receive the average cash equivalent for benefits that an average employee is receiving.
That’s a problem
She pointed out that if a company has a lot of workers with a range of salaries “this really could have an unintended consequence of having temps not being paid the equivalent of someone doing the same exact job in entry-level, but the average of all workers that may have more experience than them.”
In other words, that could mean a temporary worker might wind up making a higher salary, with more benefits, than a full-time worker doing the same job.
“It’s going to be a bad thing in the sense that we’re going to have the unintended consequence of making it more difficult to hire temps, just due to the cost this bill is going to put on 3rd party companies utilizing temporary workers,” she said.
“We think that will so greatly drive up the cost of utilizing temps that it’s going to make it difficult for businesses to fill their employment gaps they are having right now.”
She said temp agencies work with multiple businesses and they offer “different benefits packages and these packages can encompass everything from 401(k) matches and health insurance to vacation days and life insurance policies. Calculating and providing payment for the average cost of these benefits packages will be a logistical burden.”
The measure is scheduled to be voted on by the State Senate on Monday.