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Coverage of Employment Agencies

General Coverage

An employment agency, such as a temporary staffing agency or a recruitment company, is covered by the laws we enforce if the agency regularly refers employees to employers. This is true even if the employment agency doesn’t receive payment for this service, and the agency is covered no matter how many employees it has.

Employment Agencies and Unlawful Referral Practices

An employment agency is prohibited from discriminating against its own employees, as well as in its referral practices. An employment agency may not honor discriminatory employer preferences. For example, it is unlawful to accept a job order specifying the race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability status or genetic information of the candidate. An employment agency may not categorize, group or classify job applicants, jobs, or employers based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability status or genetic information and make referrals based on the categorizations. For example, it is unlawful to classify and refer only males to "light industry" positions or only females to "clerical" positions. In addition, an employment agency may not maintain a discriminatory environment, or discriminate against its own employees with respect to wages, promotions, etc.

Deciding Coverage of Employment Agencies

If you aren’t sure whether coverage exists, you should contact one of our field offices as soon as possible so we can make that decision. It is also important to keep in mind that, if an employment agency is not covered by the laws we enforce, it still may be covered by a state or local anti-discrimination law. If it is, we can refer you to the state or local agency that enforces that law.