The number of contingent workers is on the rise across the country, but many states still don't have comprehensive laws in place for their protection. I recently read a ProPublica article reporting that California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law that will hold companies more accountable for the pay and safety of their temporary employees.
With the new law, businesses will share responsibility for any violations a subcontractor or temp agency commits regarding the safety and wages of its workers. According to the American Staffing Association, there were over 3 million contracted workers in the United States in this year's second quarter, up 5.6 percent from 2013. As the number of temporary workers has grown, so too have allegations of improper practices. California lawmakers overwhelmingly agreed on the new law to prevent these practices.
The new regulations will go into effect on January 1, 2015, and are expected to benefit thousands of low-wage workers who often have worked at companies for years but have been denied the benefits and protections of full-time workers because they are employed by a subcontractor. International Brotherhood of Teamsters president James P. Hoffa applauded the rule for closing these loopholes, calling it "a new era for worker protection in California".