Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) protects every individual
seeking work at any employment agencies, regardless of nationality,
immigration status, race, gender or religion.
If an Employment Agency charges you a fee for finding a job,
the Employment Agency must be Licensed by the New York City Department
of Consumer Affairs (DCA). The agency must display its license
on the premises, where the consumer can see it.
In New York City, it is required by the law, that the Employment
Agencies describe in writing, all the jobs available for agency
referral. The description must list the name and address of the
employer, the wage, work hours, job description and the agency
If any of these descriptions does not exists please call 311.
- Employment Agencies should not guarantee that they would find
you a job. If they promise that you will be hired, the agencies
are violating the law. If a job has directly been offered by
the employer then you can be sure of a job, no agency can guarantee
you a job.
- Employment agencies cannot refer you to a job that pays less
than minimum wage which is $5.15 per hour and a job that does
not pay overtime.
- Employment agencies cannot ask you about your marital status,
age, nationality or number of children you have.
- If you are looking for domestic work, agencies are required
to give you a statement of your rights and the employer’s
- Employment agencies can charge you fee on certain cases, they
must refund you the fee if you decide to terminate the contract
before the agency finds you a job.
- Employment agencies can also charge another fee after finding
you a job. This is the placement charge and it is a percent
from your new salary. If an advance fee is charged, it must
be deducted from the placement charge.
- An employment agency cannot charge you a placement fee that
is more than the maximum amount set forth by the law for the
type of employment that the agency has helped you to find. The
maximum fee for each type of employment is set forth in the
New York State General Business Law.
- The employment agencies are not allowed to demand the whole
placement fee at one time, for a weekly wage earners it is usually
paid in equal installments at the end of each pay period.
Before signing any paper or contract with the Employment Agencies
please make sure you read all the fine prints. Any agreement you
make with an employment agency must be is writing and must be
signed by you and the agency.
Be aware of what is going on between you and your Employment
Agency. Do not sign anything if the agency does
not show you the whole contract.
Make sure the contract details:
- What services does the Employment Agencies promise?
- What is required from you to prepare for the job hunt?
- What happens if you do not accept a job offer from an employer?
- Will the agency provide you with the information of the employer
including the name, address, type of work, job title, wages,
compensations and hours.
- Does an agency do a back ground check to see if the employer
has any violation against its past and present employees.
- If you are hired and fired or if you quit then what happens
to the fee?
- Will the agency help you find another job?
- Does the contract allow you to use another Employment Agency?
- Do you get a refund if you become disabled and can no longer
Before signing a contract get the agency to answer all your questions
in writing. The agency cannot promise you anything outside the
DCA’s consumer complaint service is available on line at
http://www.nyc.gov.consumers/ or you can call 311. There is no
immigration status questions or restrictions. You can dial the
famous 311 to find a licensed Employment Agency.