Massachusetts Protects Temporary Workers

The Massachusetts legislature passed a bill recently that offers new protections to temporary workers who have been subjected to exploitation by unscrupulous temporary agencies. A number of worker advocacy organizations, including Public Welfare Foundation grantee Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH), supported The Temporary Worker’s Right to Know Act. Their efforts were reported earlier this year in a Public Welfare Foundation e-newsletter.

Under the new law, temporary agencies will be required to provide written notice to workers of important details of their job assignments, such as rate of pay, transportation costs and who is paying for workers’ compensation insurance. 

A recent University of Massachusetts Amherst report on unregulated employment agencies found that 25,000 temporary workers in Massachusetts work in often hazardous jobs every day, employed by more than 900 temporary agencies. The new law aims to  address worker abuses as well as the undermining of law-abiding businesses that have been attributed to this rapidly growing sector of the state’s economy.   

For more information about the new legislation and the problem of temporary employment agencies in Massachusetts, please visit


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