Many low-wage workers now find their jobs through temporary staffing agencies (“temp agencies”). Through the use of temp agencies, employers are able to avoid accountability in the workplace. Unscrupulous employers can skirt laws that require payment for minimum wages and overtime, and access to workers’ compensation and unemployment benefits. Some temp agencies target particularly vulnerable communities, such as refugees and undocumented immigrants, who are desperate for work and unlikely to complain about illegal practices.
Students in the Social Justice Lawyering Clinic are working with PhilaPOSH, a nonprofit organization focused on the occupational health and safety of workers, on documenting abuses by temp agencies in Philadelphia.