Victor J Blue / The New York Times
The Justice for Job Seekers Campaign applauds Governor Cuomo for prioritizing the protection of low-wage job seekers as part of his 2015 Opportunity Agenda
January 22, 2015
In 2013, New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE) convened, and has since coordinated, the Justice for Job Seekers Campaign, a state wide campaign to end employment agency fraud which today includes over 30 organizational members. Today the campaign released the following statement applauding the Governor Cuomo’s pledge in his 2015 Opportunity Agenda, to end employment agency fraud:
Statement from the Justice for Job Seekers (J4JS) Campaign:
The Justice for Job Seekers Campaign applauds Governor Cuomo for prioritizing the protection of low-wage job seekers as part of his 2015 Opportunity Agenda. Our coalition of over 30 organizations has been working with Assembly member Francisco Moya and Senator Diane Savino for the last two years to end the predatory practices of employment agencies. We are pleased that the Governor has pledged to strengthen enforcement, empower workers with a private right of action, protect job seekers from retaliation and most importantly close the egregious loophole in the State’s General Business Law that allows agencies to charge low-wage workers advance fees before actually placing them in a job.
As detailed in New Immigrant Community Empowerment’s 2012 report, too many New Yorkers are spending thousands of dollars to find work through employment agencies only to be scammed and exploited. Job seekers are charged illegal fees, defrauded by unlicensed agencies, and refused reimbursement even when an agency fails to place a worker at a job. Job seekers frequently pay up-front and in full because agencies fail to disclose that they can pay fees in installments. Too often employment agencies will claim to have located a job, but when a job seeker pursues the job, they are met with vacant locations or owners with no knowledge of a job opening. Additionally, when a job seeker does find a job, he or she finds that the job pays below the minimum wage, is unsafe, or is exploitative in other ways.
We look forward to working with the administration and regulatory bodies at the city and state level to bring about these reforms and to finally putting an end to employment agency fraud and abuses.
For more information on Justice for Job Seekers bill, visit the campaign’s website, www.justice4jobseekers.org
Media Contact: Jessica Garcia, 718-205-8796