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

UPDATED: Feb 17, 2011

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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 After contacting many recruiters about the publicly posted position I am routinely being told that position has been withdrawn, even the same day the position is posted on-line then they try and pitch me on a “great opportunity that has just come in”.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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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