Better Protections for Temporary Workers

A new California law will hold companies accountable for labor violations committed by their subcontractors or agencies that supply them with temporary workers. Under the new law, which was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown this week, businesses will not be able to say they didn’t know that their subcontractors or temp agencies were breaking the rules regarding wage theft, workplace safety or workers’ compensation.

Public Welfare Foundation grantee National Employment Law Project actively supported the reforms in the new law. And grantee Working Partnerships USA helped to humanize the issues through its research on the pay and safety conditions of temporary workers at Taylor Farms, the nation’s largest supplier of fresh-cut produce.

The changes in the new California law follow similar reforms that were pursued successfully in Massachusetts by grantee Massachusetts Coalition on Occupational Safety and Health and in Illinois by the Just Pay for All Coalition, which included grantee Working Hands Legal Clinic.

In another advance for workers, a new website and online tool have been launched that will help migrant workers – particularly the 100,000 people recruited as guest workers in the U.S. each year – share information about good and bad recruitment and employment practices under the H-2 visa program. The new tool,, created by grantee Centro de los Derechos del Migrante uses Yelp-like reviews from employees to rate how they are treated by their employers. The site also offers tips and resources that will help employees understand and exercise their rights.

To view an article about the California law, click here.

To learn more about, click here.


The Public Welfare Foundation supports efforts to advance justice and opportunity for people in need. These efforts honor the Foundation’s core values of racial equity, economic well-being, and fundamental fairness for all. The Foundation looks for strategic points where its funds can make a significant difference and improve lives through policy and system reform that results in transformative change. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter or on Facebook.

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