What happens if an employment agency engages in “Bait and Switch” tactics?

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What happens if an employment agency engages in “Bait and Switch” tactics?

I am unemployed and during my many job searches I am frequently coming across positions posted via recruiting agencies. After contacting many recruiters about the publicly posted position I am routinely being told that position has been withdrawn, even the same day the position is posted on-line then they try and pitch me on a “great opportunity that has just come in”. Is this a possible bait and switch tactic that is punishable.

Asked on February 17, 2011 under General Practice, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, this is unfortunately not legally actionable. First, it's not one of the things covered by various consummer-protective laws and regulations, so there's no specific bar or prohibition against doing it. Second, it's not the case that you have been injured--other than perhaps wasting you time--by doing this; it's not as if, for example, you have already put money down before being told that only a less desirable alternative is available. Since you have not suffered any actual economic loss, under general legal principals, there is no liability incurred by the employment agency; and, as noted, this is not the sort of transation to which specific consumer-protective rules apply. Nothing stops you from complaining to the Better Business Burea, or blogging online (as long as all statements are provably true) to express your disatisfacion with these agencies; but it's not legally actionable.


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