TWJ Blog

  • Dave DeSario

Updated: Jul 29

Today at noon, in front of one of the largest staffing agencies in California, a blue- and white-collar workers alliance stood together to demand good, permanent jobs . The event focused on the release of a new report from Temp Worker Justice, California: The Temp Work State! The report identifies CA as a “leader” in temp and contract jobs, and the state as the profit center for the national temporary staffing industry.

When Californians say “The Industry,” they’re talking about film and TV production because it is so central to the state’s economy and culture. But, the new report from Temp Worker Justice makes the case that California is influenced by an even larger and more scandalous one: the temporary staffing industry. In California there are:

  • Nearly 3 times as many “temp” jobs every year as jobs in film & TV production

  • 3% of every job in CA right now is a “temp” job, 50% higher than the national average

  • 29% of the entire national staffing industry’s revenue comes from California, $35.1B in annual “sales” of workers’ labor

Download the full report below.

So, what’s wrong with temp work? Fundamentally, temp jobs are bad jobs. Temp jobs perpetuate poverty instead of providing a pathway out of it, and disproportionately impact women and people of color. By paying unequal wages for equal work, the temporary staffing industry is a key driver of the pay gap. In California, women lose $46B annually and people of color in CA lose $61B annually to unequal pay. Overall, temp and contract work is bad for workers, families, communities, and all of California.

Fortunately, workers are coming together in CA to demand better. Warehouse workers, nurses, tech industry workers, union members, and other blue- and white-collar workers are standing together because nearly every occupation is being degraded by the temp industry. Together, they are standing up for legislation in CA, SB1162 ‘Pay Transparency for Pay Equity,’ and for justice for all temp and contract workers. Solutions are within our reach!

TWJ Temp Work State Report FINAL
Download PDF • 1.04MB

Bay Area Groups Are Also Backing First of Its Kind ‘Pay Transparency for Pay Equity’ Act Which Would Require Pay Transparency for Staffing Agency and Contracted Employees. Tech Giant Google Employs More Contracted Employees Than Direct-Hire; Advocates Say Pay Transparency Is First Step In Addressing Wage Gaps

State Senator Monique Limón presents the ‘Pay Transparency for Pay Equity’ act on the California Senate floor in 2022.

Media Contacts: Roberto Clack, Temp Worker Justice,, 312.450.1972

Secondary Contact: Dave DeSario, Temp Worker Justice,

Tuesday, July 26th, San Francisco- Over the last several months a coalition of women’s rights, racial justice, and wall to wall labor organizations have advanced the Pay Transparency for Pay Equity Act, SB1162 in the California legislature aimed at creating pay transparency & equal pay for staffing agency and contract work in tech and other key Bay Area industries. Reporting by the New York Times in 2019 has found that tech giant Google was employing more temporary staffing agency and contract workers than direct hires reflecting a growing trend of subcontracting in tech and other industries.

Meanwhile, Oakland-based TechEquity Collaborative’s research has found that contract workers in tech make 75 cents on the dollar compared to their direct hire counterparts while the workforce was disproportionately people of color, women and non-binary. Organizers will host their conference outside the Accenture staffing agency offices, a major supplier of ‘temporary’ staffing agency workers to local tech firms including Google. Like warehousing in southern California, organizers of the event are concerned the Bay Area and Silicon Valley are becoming ‘temp worker communities.’

The national organization Temp Worker Justice will be releasing a report at the press conference, “The Temp Worker State” detailing the size and growth of staffing agencies in major state industries like warehousing, manufacturing, healthcare and tech. “For a long time, staffing agency usage has undermined labor standards in traditional California industries in warehousing and manufacturing, but now we are seeing this happen in white-collar professions like tech and nursing,” said Dave DeSario, author of the report and Associate Director of Temp Worker Justice. “We want to see the Pay Transparency for Pay Equity act pass as a way to even the playing field for contract workers, but we also want to see big corporations like Google and Facebook do more direct-hiring in their workforce.”

On May 24th, the California senate passed the act 27 to 9 which would require employers with more than 250 employees to report pay and demographic information on their temporary staffing and contracted workers as well as to list salaries as part of their hiring process. The bill is now headed for a showdown in the California state assembly in August where it’s facing opposition from the American Staffing Association and other business interests.

“Due to occupational segregation and structural racism, people of color are more likely to be hired into temporary staffing and other types of subcontracted jobs than permanent, direct-hire jobs in the same industries, and these subcontracted jobs pay substantially less than direct-hire jobs, which contributes to the wealth gap for communities of color,” said Laura Padin, Director of Work Structures at the National Employment Law Project. “SB1162 is a critical first step in calling attention to the pay disparities for women and people of color in temped out jobs, giving workers the pay information they need to negotiate fair compensation from their employer, and ensuring corporations treat all of their workers —both direct-hire employees and temporary and other subcontracted workers—equitably.”

What: Press Conference for Stable Jobs and Equal Pay for California Staffing Agency Workers!

When: Tuesday, July 26th, 12pm

Where: Accenture Staffing Agency Offices, 415 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105 (In Front of Salesforce Tower)

Who: Alphabet Workers Union-Communication Workers of America, National Employment Law Project, TechEquity Collaborative, California Nurses Association, Temp Worker Justice and the Pay Transparency for Pay Equity Coalition

Founded in 2019, Temp Worker Justice is a national organization dedicated to winning stable and good paying jobs for millions of staffing agency workers across the country.


Updated: May 16

Conditions for 1 in 4 Temp Workers Could be Improved

Temp workers are finally being heard, and lawmakers across the country are stepping up and recognizing that the “labor shortage” can be solved when workers are respected and provided with much needed protection.

Four states, California, Mississippi, New Jersey and Illinois, all recently introduced bills that will provide much needed regulation and transparency for workers in their respective states. The proposals cover nearly a quarter (23.3%) of all temp workers in the country, according to BLS data. While most elected officials have stayed silent on the issue of workers (particularly temporary workers) being exploited, leaders in these four states seem to understand the severity of these issues!

These new bills are attempting to regulate one of the most exploitative industries in the country, and this all thanks to courageous temp workers speaking out and demanding change. More than 1,300 spoke out in Temp Workers Demand Good Jobs, the recent report from TWJ, the National Employment Law Project (NELP) and local partners. Workers shared their experiences and uncovered shocking patterns of abuse and deception.

The trend brings along hope for millions of Americans who are working so-called “temp” jobs, and addresses a systemic issue that has plagued many communities for decades.

Why more states are introducing worker focused legislation?

This isn’t a new form of exploitation, and the temp staffing industry has proven it will not change unless workers force it to. For example: In 2012, Lawrence Daquan “Day” Davis was killed during his first day working a temp job after a lack of proper safety training. His sister Antonia is now a leading national voice for workers like Day, as a member of TWJ’s National Temp Worker Council. Day’s death was part of a string of temp worker deaths on the job that did little to convince the temp industry to change their ways.

And individual worksite companies don’t learn either. In 2016, Fannie Stanberry broke eight ribs and her left arm, as a result of dangerous working conditions at a FedEx warehouse that she worked at as a temp worker. But nothing changed. Nearly three years later, another temp worker, Duntate Young, was killed as a result of hazardous working conditions while working at the same FedEx warehouse!

These are not rare or isolated instances and it sends a message to all temp workers: we must make the industry change, and we must call on our leaders to take action.

Some of the new bills proposed for the 2022 legislative session will help to address these issues and bring along much needed protections for temp workers!

What’s been proposed in each state?

  • Mississippi: (SB 2184 Labor And Employment Protections For Temporary Workers In Mississippi) The Mississippi bill looks to be the first to regulate permatemping, preventing workers from remaining “temporary” beyond 90 days, and helping “temp” workers transition into stable jobs.

  • New Jersey: (SB 4223 Equal Pay for Equal Work) The New Jersey bill is headlined by equal pay for equal work, so that “temp” workers doing the same jobs are paid fairly. It also would require agencies to give detailed information about job assignments in writing to workers, so agencies are responsible for providing what is promised.

  • Illinois: (HB 5543 Temp Agency Seal of Approval) The “Seal of Approval” would help protect workers from retaliation, and create easier processes for them to address issues like wage theft, discrimination, and sexual harassment. The “Seal” regulates the agencies that receive state funding for work that is often provided in schools, hospitals, airports, and other large public institutions.

  • California: (SB 1162 Pay Transparency for Pay Equity Act) The California bill would close a loophole so that companies can’t get away with paying temp workers, who are disproportionately women and people of color, less for the same work. Information about demographics and pay for temp and permanent workers would be made public for any company that uses more than 100 temp workers in a year.

What it all means for workers in 2022:

There are a lot of things to take into consideration in terms of these bills, but we are optimistic that more states will introduce similar protections for temp workers, and that new laws will go into place so that temp workers can enforce their rights.

Temp workers are demanding more and rightfully so! Temp Worker Justice will continue to support temp workers as they demand a fair chance. A fair chance at not living in poverty and a fair chance at living!

Temp Workers: get connected to the movement in your state & get help! Take the temp work survey here.