Workers’ Dedication Pays Off

October 17, 2019

On September 26, MassCOSH members, Justice at Work, and Fair Work Law gathered to celebrate a temp worker victory year in the making. For a long as MassCOSH’s Worker Center has been in operation, we have regularly heard from temp workers about their experiences with wage theft, dangerous working conditions, and other rights violations. These violations occurred so often because these workers were laboring with little knowledge of who they were working for, what type of work they would be doing, or if they had to pay fees for tools, food, or travel.

The Massachusetts Temp Worker Right to Know Act passed in 2013 after years of advocacy by MassCOSH and its allies. The law requires temp agencies to give each of its workers a written job order that provides information the worker has a right to expect, including hourly rate of pay, overtime compensation, and any fees a worker will be expected to pay. It also provides tools for the Department of Labor Standards to ensure transparency and accountability within the temp industry. The victory was huge and essential in bringing transparency to this shadowy industry.

The Temp Worker Right to Know Act was critical to our recent victory, allowing us to document numerous violations of workers’ rights. MassCOSH, Justice at Work, and Fair Work Law have promoted the class action lawsuit process to raise workers' awareness of their rights and the power they have when they come together in solidarity against injustice.