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Make the Road New Jersey engages thousands of low wage workers annually to organize across sectors to build power in the workplace, to raise labor standards and to take action for stronger economic policies that benefit workers and poor people.

  • In February 2023, after decades of exploitation and abuse, Make the Road NJ temp workers fought hard to pass the first-in-the-nation comprehensive Temp Workers’ Bill of Rights. This historic state law will ensure that staffing agencies provide only safe and free transportation to and from worksites, will require transparency from staffing agencies and their corporate clients on terms of work, will prohibit predatory fees charged to temp workers by their employers, and, for the first time in any state in the country, will require temp workers receive equal pay and benefits to their direct-hire coworkers.
  • 2023: Strongest in the nation Temp Workers’ Bill of Rights – guarantees equal pay and benefits for hundreds of thousands of “temp” workers, mainly in NJ’s vast logistics sector and holds third party warehouses/employers liable for temp agency violations.
  • 2022: Led a community labor campaign to stop the Amazon Air Hub at Newark Airport — Amazon pulled out of the deal because it couldn’t meet basic labor and environmental standards.
  • 2021-2022 First Excluded New Jerseyan Fund: Publicly funded program which gave two rounds of cash benefits to individuals left behind from federal COVID aid, including undocumented immigrants, workers in the cash economy, returning citizens and students. Average benefit was about $4,500 per household.
  • 2020: With United for Respect, we won the first in the nation guaranteed severance law (passed in 2020, implementation delayed until 2023) for workers who lose their jobs during a mass lay-off. Awards one week’s pay for every year worked. 
  • 2020: Executive Order 192 on workplace safety in the pandemic requiring private sector employers to provide PPE, daily health checks and increasing state enforcement.
  • 2019: Strongest anti- wage theft laws in the country: levies treble damages for violations and includes strongest joint employer standard; extends statute of limitation to 6 years.
  • 2019 Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage & Prevent Wage Theft: MRNJ played a leading role in the campaign to raise the minimum wage to $15 in New Jersey and create meaningful enforcement of the minimum wage to stop unscrupulous employers from stealing workers’ wages. In January 2019, we won passage of legislation to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour. Teen workers – initially excluded from the minimum wage hike – fought back, under the leadership of Make the Road NJ’s youth committee — and were included at full parity. In June 2019, anti-wage theft legislation passed after years of organizing. Both bills were signed into law at our office, where hundreds of our members joined low wage workers from across the state to celebrate. MRNJ’s youth leaders secured the youth worker inclusion.

  • 2015 Winning – and Enforcing – Earned Sick Leave for Private Sector Workers in Elizabeth: in November 2015, MRNJ worked with a coalition to pass a new policy via ballot initiative that guarantees up to five paid sick days for all private-sector workers in Elizabeth. 

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