Temp Workers Right to Know Bill

House Bill 1829, Senate Bill 1062: Temp Workers’ Right to Know Bill

Lead sponsors: Senator John Hart and Representative Eugene O'Flaherty


"I had to quit my job because the conditions were so dangerous," said Ramon Ramirez, not his real name, who worked for two days for a temporary agency in Boston. When Ramirez went to pick up his check, the owner of the agency told him he had not worked a full week and so was not entitled to a pay check.

Each year, thousands of temporary workers are sent off to work without having any idea where they are going, the type of work they will do, their rate of pay – even the name of their employer, who is often referred to by a nickname.

A report by the Campaign on Contingent workers estimated that, as of 1998, there were well over 70,000 temporary workers and more than 1,400 temporary agencies in Massachusetts. According to current regulations, a temporary agency does not have to reveal to workers where they are being taken to work, the types of duties the workers will be performing, how long they are going to work, or how much they will be paid.

Such lax regulation ignores the rights of the workers and exposes them to employer abuse and exploitation.

What the bill does:

Sponsored by Senator John Hart and Representatives Marty Walsh, Ann Paulsen and Louis Kafka, the proposed bill, the Temporary Workers Rights to Know, would,among other things, obligate temp agencies to disclose to workers the following:

  • Their rate of pay
  • Where they are assigned to work
  • Duration of the assignment
  • Type of work they will perform
  • Their right to workers compensation and the name
    of the insurance carrier
  • Any temp agency fees that will be charged
  • The full name of the person who hired them

The bill would also require the employer to pay for safety and personal protective equipment, uniforms, tools or accessories. Lastly, while currently an employer can not require that a worker cash their check for a fee – many charge fees for this service. This bill would forbid an employer from ever charging a fee for check cashing.