Federal Legislation for Temporary Workers
The Restoring Worker Power Act of 2020 was introduced yesterday, co-sponsored by Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO). It is the first federal bill to propose regulating temp agencies and protecting temp workers since 1999, and a major victory for workers and our allies.
What it Means for Temp Workers
The bill is a long way from becoming law. But, if enacted, it would give temp workers additional rights and the power to enforce those rights. Most importantly:
1. Equal Pay For Equal Work
Temps will earn the same pay as regular employees for doing the same job. This is particularly important in the staffing industry where low wages and an overrepresentation of Black and Latinx workers perpetuates economic and racial inequality.
2. Safe Workplaces
Temps will be given equal safety training as permanent employees doing the same work, must be included in all health and safety meetings in the workplace, and told of any potential hazards 48 hours before beginning a job.
3. Right to Know
Temps will receive information about the terms and conditions of their employment, including how much agencies take out of their paychecks, eliminating undisclosed fees.
4. A Path to Permanent Work
Non-compete agreements and forced arbitration are banned, and all conversion fees for hiring workers into permanent jobs will be eliminated after 60 days of temping. This will reduce the abusive practice of permatemping, ensuring a path to permanent work.
Advancing the Interests of Temp Workers
Temp Worker Justice is continuing a national survey of temp workers. Data from the survey is often requested by policymakers and advocates to better understand the experiences of workers, and how to improve the temporary staffing industry. Current and recent temp workers should take the survey here: