New York AG reaches anti-discrimination deals with employment agencies

By Bryan Cohen | Jul 11, 2014

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said his office has reached agreements with five New York City-based employment agencies resolving allegations of unlawful discrimination and predatory business practices.

Sunset Employment Services, Rivera Employment Agency, Patricia Employment Agency, United Employment Agency and Excellent Employment Agency allegedly targeted Spanish-speaking job seekers, unlawfully steered them away from certain jobs and unlawfully referred them to jobs paying as little as $3.75 per hour.

The agencies also allegedly charged job seekers excessive referral fees and failed to provide refunds of advance fees.

"Employment discrimination against vulnerable populations is an increasing and disturbing trend, and we need to do everything we can to protect job applicants across our state," Schneiderman said Thursday. "These agreements will send a strong message: Employment discrimination and exploitation of job seekers -- including among our hard-working immigrant communities -- are unacceptable.

"We will continue to fight for a level playing field for New York workers and our law-abiding businesses."

Under the terms of the agreements, the businesses agreed to not engage in unlawful discrimination when making job referrals, charge excessive fees, refer applicants to jobs paying below minimum wage and refuse to refund advance fees.

The agencies also agreed to revise their policies and procedures, obtain training and pay $20,000 in penalties and costs to the state.

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