Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Job Seekers Beware: Employment Agency Fraud Prohibited

Scams preying on the jobless are on the rise, as reported by The Denver Post yesterday.

What should you know about the law if you are working with a private employment agency in Colorado?

1. Any fee paid by an applicant to a private employment agency shall be by written contractual agreement which includes specific provisions for refunds and extended payment options. The exclusion of these options from the contractual agreement shall be explicitly stated in the agreement.

2. No fee shall be charged by a private employment agency until an applicant is placed in employment.

3. It is unlawful for any private employment agency knowingly to:

* Send an applicant to any fictitious job or position or make any false representation concerning the availability of employment;

* Send an applicant to any place where a strike or lockout exists or is impending without notifying the applicant of the circumstances;

* Conspire or arrange with any employer to secure the discharge of an employee or give or receive any gratuity or divide or share with an employer any fee, charge, or remuneration received from any applicant for employment;

* Circulate or publish, by advertisement or otherwise, any false statements or representations to persons seeking employment or to employers seeking employees;

* Fail to refund fees to an applicant where such refund is due under this law.

* Advertise or represent the availability of fee-paid positions where no cost accrues to the applicant if hired in such a manner as to confuse such position with other available positions which are not available on a fee-paid basis;

* Advertise or represent that an available position is available on a free or no fee basis or otherwise indicate that no charge or cost accrues to anyone when in fact the employer is obligated to pay a fee contingent upon the acceptance of employment of the applicant;

* Advertise for any position, including personnel for its own staff, without identifying in the advertisement that it is a private employment agency.

An agency found guilty of such a crime shall be subject to a fine of not more than one thousand dollars per conviction. Any employee of such agency found directly responsible for committing acts in violation of this section shall be subject to a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than one year in the county jail, or by both fine and imprisonment.

Link to the Colorado law: 18-5-307. Fee paid to private employment agencies.

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