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A New York State Inquiry Is Said to Target Job Agencies

New York Times (10/15/13) Julie Turkewitz

The New York State attorney general’s office is reportedly investigating about a dozen employment firms that may have deceived job seekers. The office is examining whether the firms took fees from candidates in exchange for jobs that did not exist or paid below the minimum wage, refused to give refunds, charged fees greater than the permitted amount, lacked licenses, or violated civil rights law by referring candidates to jobs based on their nationality or gender.

The companies under examination are in northern Queens and primarily place Spanish-speaking immigrants. These abuses are a microcosm of larger problems at employment firms across the city. In 2008, Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged to stop such abuse. But the investigation and interviews indicate many firms continue to cheat candidates. Currently, individuals who believe they have been cheated by an employment firm in the state of New York do not have the right to sue for violations.