Is it legal for a staffing agency that I did not contract with demand a buyout from an employer who is looking to hire me?

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Is it legal for a staffing agency that I did not contract with demand a buyout from an employer who is looking to hire me?

I did contact the staffing agency. The staffing agency sent my information to the

2-3 employers in the region prior to me contracting with the staffing agency. I

did not contract with the staffing agency due to insurance coverage concerns. They are now telling the employers in the area that they must pay a substantial

recruitment/buyout fee if I am hired. At least 1 employer has written that they

would otherwise hire me except for the fee from the staffing agency.

Asked on February 25, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If the firm only become aware of you because the staffing agency sent them your resume, etc., then they would most likely have to pay a recruiting fee. But they would not have to pay a recruiting fee if they did not get the information, etc. from the agency, and if you never contracted with or were employed by the agency, no buyout fee should be required--though double check anything you signed with them, to see if you agreed to more than you thought you did. (If so, that ageement is enforceable.)
If, as would seem to be the case based on what you write, there is no buyout fee necessary and the given employer(s) seeking to employ you did not find out about you from the agency, there should be no fees of any kind...and if the agency keeps trying to demand one and thereby wrongfully interfers with your employment, you may be able to sue them for tortious (or wrongful) intereference with economic advantage (i.e. with your ability to make money) and get compensation and/or a court order that they cease and desist doing this.


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