Massachusetts Contingent Workers Law Goes into Effect in January

As we mentioned in an E-Alert last August, Massachusetts has a new statute that requires staffing agencies to provide temporary workers with more information regarding their employment. This new statute goes into effect on January 31, 2013, so employers who are affected by its provisions should be making plans now to comply.

The Temporary Workers Right to Know Act (H. 4304) requires staffing agencies to provide workers with written notice of the agency’s name, its workers’ compensation carrier, and the name of the worksite employer.

The law also requires that staffing agencies give temporary workers a description of the job to which they will be assigned and a statement of costs for clothing or equipment they will be responsible for providing at the jobsite. Temporary workers will be entitled to written notice of their rate of pay, payday, starting and ending times, and the expected length of their assignment.

Staffing agencies will be prohibited from charging workers for (1) registering with the agency, (2) the cost of criminal background checks required by the company to which they are assigned, or (3) any other goods or services that cause their pay to fall below the minimum wage.

Staffing agencies and worksite employers will be permitted to charge for financial transactions, drug screens, and transportation to the jobsite. However, they may charge no more than the actual cost of those services, and transportation to the jobsite cannot exceed three percent of the employee’s daily pay.

Professional, administrative, and secretarial employees are exempt from the new law. The Massachusetts Department of Labor will be responsible for implementing regulations for the new statute, which will affect an estimated 25,000 temporary workers statewide.

If you have any questions about these amendments, please feel free to contact any of the attorneys at Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C.