As the calendar hits August, most state legislatures have adjourned, and those that have not are in the process of wrapping up proceedings for the year. However, in New Jersey and Illinois, there is still plenty of work being done when it comes to both states’ recently passed temporary worker rights bills.
In New Jersey, a federal court in late July denied the staffing industry’s motion to enjoin the Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights Law enacted by the legislature earlier this year. The law, which applies to construction, light industrial, and other workers—but not professional or clerical workers—mandates temporary employee wages and benefits equivalent to those received by client employees performing similar work, limits conversion fees, and prohibits agencies from charging a fee for providing transportation, among other things.
Despite finding that the law likely will result in irreparable harm to many staffing firms, the court held that the industry’s arguments that the law is unconstitutional were unlikely to succeed at trial. In response to the court’s ruling, the group that brought the original lawsuit—the American Staffing Association; the New Jersey Staffing Alliance, an ASA-affiliated chapter; and the New Jersey Business and Industry Association—have filed a notice of appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit appealing the district court’s denial of the parties’ request for a preliminary injunction. The parties will ask the Third Circuit to stay the district court’s action and enforcement of the statute while the appeal is pending.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed HB 2862, legislation that amends the Illinois Day and Temporary Labor Services Act to provide that temporary employees must be paid the same or similar pay and benefits received by equivalent direct hire employees after working for more than 90 calendar days for a client, among other things. ASA and its Illinois lobbyist Paul Rosenfeld met with legislators and secured modifications that significantly mitigate the impact of the amendments. ASA has submitted a letter to Gov. Pritzker urging the Illinois Department of Labor to delay implementing the law until final regulations are adopted with input from ASA and the Illinois Search and Staffing Association, an ASA-affiliated chapter.