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Spotlight on Massachusetts temps’ working conditions

Posted on April 13th, 2012 Read time: 1 minutes

A 41-page report authored by two professors recently brought to light discrepancies with Massachusetts' Employment Agency Law, and how immigrant temporary workers are being treated unfairly, MetroWest Daily News reports.

As a result, the Joint Labor Management Committee unanimously approved a measure to recommend a bill that would update the law with the end goal of protecting workers in temporary situations.

Ninety percent of American businesses employ temporary workers. However, the authors believe that temps in Massachusetts and other states are generally considered second class citizens, as many are immigrant workers and young minorities.

"Often, people are picked up to go to work and told, 'there's your van,' without knowing what work they were assigned to do," co-author George Gonos, an associate professor of sociology at the State University of New York in Potsdam, told the news source. "People are happy to get a day's work, even when they know they are going to get mistreated."

The report added that because some temps are unfairly treated, companies turn to "underground temping," or using off-the-grid agencies to protect themselves should legal action be taken against them.

However, Stephen Dwyer of the American Staffing Association believes bill reform would be unnecessary, and "would make it harder to find jobs during a still fragile economy," notes StaffingTalk. 

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