Search form

New Massachusetts Law Requires Staffing Firms to Give Written Notice Regarding Jobs to Temporary Workers

By Brian E. Lewis
  • January 17, 2013

Effective January 31, 2013, temporary staffing agencies in Massachusetts must provide temporary employees with written notice of certain information before the employees can go to a new assignment for work. The new law also prohibits staffing agencies from charging temporary employees for certain items and services related to employment.

Specifically, the new law requires temporary staffing agencies to provide:

1. The name, address, and telephone number of the staffing agency, its workers’ compensation insurance carrier, the worksite employer, and the department in which the employee will work.

2. A description of the position the employee is to fill and whether the position requires any special clothing, equipment, training or licenses (as well as any costs charged to the employee for supplies or training).

3. The designated pay day, the hourly rate of pay, and whether overtime pay may occur on the job.

4. The daily starting time and anticipated end time, and, if known, the expected duration of employment.

5. Whether meals will be provided and the charge for the meal (if any).

6. The details of the means of transportation to the worksite and any fees charged to the employee for transportation services (if provided).

In addition, temporary staffing agencies cannot charge or accept a fee from any staffing agency employee for the following:

1. The cost of registration for the staffing agency.

2. Any good or service, unless it is clearly stated in a written contract that the purchase is voluntary and states that the staffing agency will not gain a profit from the fee charged to the employee.

3. The cost of a bank card, debit card, payroll card, voucher, draft, money order or similar form of payment for wages, or drug screen, which exceeds the actual cost per applicant.

4. The cost of a criminal record request.

5. The cost of transportation expense, if the staffing agency requires the use of the transportation. If the staffing agency offers the transportation as an option, the charge cannot be more than the actual cost of the transportation, and more than 3% of the employee’s total daily wages, and it cannot reduce the employee’s wages below minimum wage.

Further, under the new law, staffing agencies are prohibited from engaging in the following activities:

  • Knowingly providing false, fraudulent, or misleading information to workers;
  • Using any name that they have not registered with the Department;
  • Assigning or placing an employee by force, fraud, or for illegal purposes; or
  • Refusing to return personal belongings or excessive fees or charges to an employee.

Finally, under the new law, staffing agencies must post in their locations (not the worksite locations) a notice of an employee’s rights under the Act and the name and contact information of the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards, which enforces the law. The Department is supposed to provide a sample poster prior to the effective date of the statute. The Department also is directed to issue regulations concerning this poster, as well as other parts of the law. There is no date specified by which the Department must do so.

Violations of this law can result in civil fines, up to $15,000 or $25,000 for willful violations.

Jackson Lewis attorneys will be tracking the enforcement of the new law and the implementing regulations.

 

©2013 Jackson Lewis P.C. This Update is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice nor does it create an attorney/client relationship between Jackson Lewis and any readers or recipients. Readers should consult counsel of their own choosing to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the express written consent of Jackson Lewis.

This Update may be considered attorney advertising in some states. Furthermore, prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Jackson Lewis P.C. represents management exclusively in workplace law and related litigation. Our attorneys are available to assist employers in their compliance efforts and to represent employers in matters before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. For more information, please contact the attorney(s) listed or the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work.

See AllRelated Articles You May Like

August 9, 2017

Oregon Becomes First State in Nation to Enact Scheduling Legislation

August 9, 2017

Oregon has become the first U.S. state to regulate employer scheduling practices in the food service, hospitality, and retail industries. The new law, S.B. 828, will take effect July 1, 2018. Signed by Governor Kate Brown on August 8, 2017, the new law follows similar measures enacted in such cities as New York, Seattle, and San... Read More

July 24, 2017

Former Employees Do Not Have Right to Inspect Personnel Files, Pennsylvania High Court Clarifies

July 24, 2017

Terminated employees, even those recently separated, are not entitled to inspect their personnel file under the Pennsylvania Inspection of Employment Records Law (the “Act”), according to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Inc. v. Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, No. 30 EAP 2016 (June 20,... Read More

July 5, 2017

Reminder: Vermont ‘Ban the Box’

July 5, 2017

Vermont’s Ban the Box law became effective on July 1, 2017, more than a year after Governor Peter Shumlin signed H. 261. The law prohibits an employer from requesting “criminal history record information,” including arrests, convictions, or sentences, on the initial employment application form, unless the individual is applying for a... Read More

Related Practices