Have you been asked to pay a fee to get a job? Over the last few months, we have heard a number of complaints about job scams targeting job seekers.
Recruiters make cold calls to people seeking work based on their online profiles on LinkedIn and other sites. The recruiter promises employment opportunities and sets up an appointment.
When job seekers go to the office, the recruiter promises special services that will help you to get a good paying job. Only then does the recruiter mention a contract fee for these services – usually $300 to $500 in advance. Either the recruiter “guarantees” that the you will get a job, or offers a 100% refund after 3 months if you are not satisfied with the services. There is a lot of pressure and incentives provided to sign right away. Job seekers are not given a chance to take home the contract and review it carefully.
We have heard complaints from a number of applicants who paid the fee and did not find any work. When they asked for a refund, no one returned their calls or emails.
We recently visited a company to help one of our WAC members get back the fee which he paid after months of getting a round-around when he asked for his refund. This company has moved locations since he paid the fee, and does not answer their phone or return emails. WAC members had to pretend to be looking for work just for us to confirm their new location and get an appointment.
Once we got an appointment, we organized a delegation visit of members to demand that the fee be paid back. We were successful in getting a refund, but how many others have lost their hard earned money through these scams?
Job scams are a form of wage theft and workers in Ontario need better protection in our law. Charging a fee for work should be illegal for all kinds of businesses under the Employment Standards Act.
Find out more about job scams and what you can do to protect yourself in our Job Scams fact sheet.