Work advocates lobby bill to help temps

BOSTON (WWLP) — Advocates say temporary workers are being exploited in Massachusetts.

In the Commonwealth, temporary workers can show up at a job and not know who they're working for, what and how they'll be paid. If the job is dangerous, or requires training that they may or may not have, workers advocates say that's problematic.

They're filing out throughout the State House, lobbying lawmakers to support House bill 1393, which requires temporary staffing agencies to provide basic information to their temp workers before going to work.

For example, they must tell them where they're working, what the working conditions are like, how much and how they will be paid, possible hazards of the job, and training qualifications needed.

Without regulations, advocates say temp workers can be put in vulnerable situations where they could be injured on the job or remain unpaid without any protection or recourse.

Steve Williams of Iron Workers Local told 22News, “With the down economy, you have a lot of desperate people that will jeopardize their health to get a job and do things they're not qualified to do and that's why this temp agency bill is so important.”

According to Attorney Sherley Cruz of Greater Boston Legal Services, “Without this bill a temp worker can show up for work and not know if they need protective gloves, if there's going to be chemicals, do they need to wear a mask, do they need special training to be working on the equipment.”

The American Staffing Association stands against the bill, saying the requirements are onerous.

A hearing for the bill is scheduled for next Wednesday, March 21st.

Copyright 2014 WWLP TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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