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New law may ratify temp worker documentation

Posted on June 14th, 2011 Read time: 1 minutes

The Massachusetts House is considering a bill that would bring temporary staffing agencies under the supervision of the state Department of Labor Standards.

The measure – a reform of the outdated Employment Agency Law – would require agencies that employ blue-collar workers to provide written information to employees about safety, job details and compensation, the Boston Globe reports.

According to ERE Media, the reform would streamline provisions governing the industry and place all employment and staffing firms on a level playing field.

"We have a lot of workers who are in effect laboring in the shadows," Harris Freeman, associate professor at the Western New England University School of Law, tells the Globe.

According to a recently released University of Massachusetts Amherst study, many temporary workers are dropped off at work sites with little information about the job, exposed to toxic chemicals without proper protection and have trouble receiving medical treatment for on-the-job injuries.

More detailed record-keeping will make it easier for the state to track companies and detect abusive patterns. It will also provide proof of wages, hours and employers’ names for workers claiming overtime or other pay. At the moment, temp agencies only have to register a worker's name and address. 

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