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10 Rules To Follow To Avoid Being Scammed By Bad Acting Employment Agencies

Have you ever used an employment agency to find work? Here are 10 rule you and other job seekers should follow to protect yourselves from bad acting employment agencies.

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Only utilize agencies that are licensed by the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs, or the New York State Department of Labor. These license(s) must be displayed.



Employment agencies cannot guarantee that they will find you a job, or promise that you will be hired. If they do, they are violating the law.



Ask for a description of the offered job in writing. Employment agencies are required to provide this information, and it must include the employer’s name and address, rate of pay, number of hours to be worked, and the total charge for using the employment agency’s services.



Do not sign anything that you cannot read or understand. Read contracts carefully, and ensure that they cover, in writing, everything you and the employment agency agreed upon before you sign.



Fees shouldn't exceed 10% of the first month’s salary, if the job found does not provide you with meals or lodging, like working at a laundromat.



Always obtain a receipt for any fees paid, and keep copies of any contract, receipt, advertisement or paperwork that you receive from an agency.



Agencies cannot knowingly refer to you an employer that violates labor laws. For instance, no job should pay below the minimum wage (which for most industries is $8.75 per hour) and must compensate for overtime (1.5 x the regular wage rate after the first 40 hours of work).


If you aren't employed as a result of an employment agency referral, you have the right to a refund. This is true even if the agency has sent you to three or more jobs. Remember, individuals can file a complaint against and agency and recover money owed regardless of immigration status.



Agencies cannot ask you about or discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, gender, age, number of children, marital status, sexual orientation, and other categories.



Before using an agency, you can check if they are licensed or if other individuals have filed complaints against them, by visiting, or calling 311.

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