New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed new protections for temporary workers into law on Monday, after a years-long push by labor and immigrant groups to regulate the sprawling temp industry.

The measure clamps down on the state’s staffing agencies, which employ about 130,000 temp workers, shuttling them to labor mostly in warehouses. Staffing agencies have to be registered with the state, and those who violate the new rules could face $5,000 fines.

Under the law, staffing agencies have to pay temp workers the same rates and offer equivalent benefits to those permanent workers employed at the same third-party sites receive. Agencies also can’t make unitemized paycheck deductions for meals, which often leave workers with below-minimum-wage pay. They also can’t deduct for transportation costs. Temp workers are now entitled to basic information about where they will be working for the day and their pay rate, the law states.

“Our temporary workers, regardless of their race or status, are key contributors to the workforce in our state,” Murphy said in a statement on Monday. “Signing the Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights establishes necessary guidelines for temporary help service firms and third-party clients to ensure that these workers are afforded basic protections and treated with the dignity they deserve.”

The bill was first introduced in December 2021 by Sen. Joe Cryan, D-Union. But the measure had a long route to final passage.

A procedural error forced the state Senate to take a second vote last year, and Murphy then vetoed that version of the bill, saying he wanted legislators to add $1 million to enforce the bill and tighten the definition of a temp worker. But the amended version faced legislative delays for months after a handful of Senate Democrats pulled their support, and the bill didn’t have enough votes to pass.

Last week, the Senate finally approved the measure.

“This is an invisible workforce that will now be protected against the abuses of unpaid wages, unsafe working conditions, unlawful deductions, and other forms of mistreatment,” Cryan said in a statement Monday.

Labor and immigrant groups lobbied hard for the bill, and for years have tried to bring more attention to workplace conditions for temp workers. In 2020, Gothamist reported temp agencies were cramming workers into vans without proper safety precautions as state officials urged people to social distance to stop the spread of the pandemic. The new law requires vans to have seats and a seatbelts for each worker.

“Too many temp workers have lost their lives on the job or been subject to wage theft or retaliation. Today marks the beginning of a new chapter where temp workers will have the respect, dignity and safety they deserve,” Janeth Caicedo, a member of Make the Road New Jersey said in a statement.

The New Jersey Staffing Alliance, which represents staffing agencies, lobbied against the bill, arguing it would drive up costs for temp agencies and their clients — and ultimately cost workers jobs. It has not yet returned requests for comment made Monday afternoon.

The bill’s provisions take effect in 90 days.