The unemployed often turn to private recruiters to help with a job search or contact temporary employment agencies to secure some short-term assignments. Either way, you have the same legal rights as job applicants who apply directly to employers. Job search companies are subject to the same laws that exist to prevent discrimination and other violations against job applicants.
Agencies Can't Discriminate
Employers, including job search and temporary employment agencies, can't discriminate against workers because of their race, age, gender, national origin, religion, or disability.
If an employer tells a job search agency to interview only men for a particular position, the employment agency can be liable if it fulfills that request and eliminates all women from the applicant pool. Employment agencies are also responsible for discrimination during the hiring process when they are acting on their own rather than at the employer's direction.
Agencies May Be Responsible for Workplace Problems
Employment agencies also aren't allowed to discriminate in the workplace. If an agency assigns a man and a woman to do the same job, they must be paid the same wage. If an agency places you in a workplace environment where you suffer discrimination, harassment, or unsafe conditions, you can sue the agency in court. You can also file complaints with various government agencies.
Employment Search Companies Can't Misrepresent Job Details
Most private employment agencies earn commissions for each worker the agencies place with an employer. Therefore, the agency is motivated to get you to accept the job. As you debate whether to accept an employment offer, most of the information you receive about the position may come from the agency rather than the employer.
If an agency misrepresents significant details about the job, such as job title, responsibilities, or employee benefits, and you accept the position based on that information, you may want to consider filing a lawsuit against the agency for intentionally giving you false information.
Making False Promises May Be Illegal
You should be skeptical of any job search agency that guarantees employment, especially if it asks for a nonrefundable fee upfront. In many areas of the country, this practice is illegal. You may have the legal right to sue to get back your money, and possibly additional amounts.
An Employment Lawyer Can Help
The law surrounding job search and temporary employment agencies can be complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. We hope you found it useful. For more detailed, specific information, please contact an employment lawyer.