Discrimination at the Employment Agency

Perhaps due to the struggling job market or the tendency of company’s to contract out functions they would have previously done in house, the participation of employment agencies in the job market has exploded in recent years. These companies recruit and provide temporary personnel to businesses in exchange for a fee. Because these organizations do not resemble the typical employer/employee relationship, many of them — and unfortunately many of the applicants they victimize as well — do not realize that they are subject to the same antidiscrimination laws as any other employer.

Section 8-107 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York specifically states that it unlawful for employment agencies to utilize any prohibited basis in “receiving, classifying, disposing or otherwise acting upon applications for its services or in referring an applicant or applicants for its services to an employer or employers.” This effectively prohibits many of the practices that have been pervasive among these agencies in New York City and beyond:

  • Advertising in ways calculated to attract or dissuade applicants of a particular demographic profile
  • Rejecting or acting less favorably upon an application due to the applicant’s race, religion, gender, disability or other protected characteristic
  • Directing applicants of certain demographic profiles toward or away from certain employers, whether by its own initiative or at the request of the employer
  • Directing protected applicants toward lower paying positions

If you are working with an employment agency and believe that members of certain protected groups are being treated unfairly, a New York employment discrimination lawyer can help you understand the next step you need to take to stand up for your rights and the rights of others who have faced discrimination.


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