Discrimination at work can often manifest itself well before a job seeker has had the opportunity to even secure full- or part-time employment.
Recently, the Office of the New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, came to a series of agreements with five New York City-based employment agencies in an effort to resolve allegations of unlawful discrimination and predatory business practices.
The five agencies — Sunset Employment Services, Rivera Employment Agency, Patricia Employment Agency, United Employment Agency and Excellent Employment Agency — were charged with allegedly targeting Spanish-speaking job seekers whom they unlawfully steered away from high-paying jobs and unlawfully referred them to employment positions paying a mere $3.75 per hour. Furthermore, the agencies also allegedly charged job seekers excessive referral fees and failed to provide refunds of advance fees.
The new agreements stipulate that the aforementioned agencies will not engage in unlawful recruitment discrimination when making job referrals, will not charge excessive fees, nor will they refer applicants to jobs paying below minimum wage or refuse to refund advance fees. Additionally, the agencies agreed to update their policies and procedures, undergo training, and pay $20,000 in fines and penalties.
It is important that all New York State workers be aware that the law strictly prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, color, creed, age, national origin, citizenship status, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or marital status. If you or a loved one has been the victim of work-related discrimination or job search-related discrimination, you should seek the council of a skilled New York employment law attorney to help you defend your rights.