Nationwide, there were about 3.4 million so-called “staffing-agency jobs” last year, or 2.25% of total national employment. What we know is that as this workforce trend grows, so does the erosion of workers’ basic rights to health and safety.
As employers shirk employment responsibilities to limit liability or long-term commitment, these workers face some of the highest levels of risk for serious injuries. In its recent investigation Temporary Work, Lasting Harm, ProPublica found that in California, temporary workers had about a 50% greater risk of being injured on the job than traditional direct-hire employees.
Workers in the food processing industry are particularly vulnerable to health and safety risks in the workplace, which is reflected by the fact that in 2012, nonfatal work-related injury or illness for full-time food-manufacturing workers’ were greater than in all of manufacturing and the private sector.
Our investigation looks at this reality that “temp workers” in the food processing face everyday and makes a call to action to Governor Jerry Brown to act now to protect California workers.