Employment services and staffing agencies are companies that help larger companies hire employees. Employees hired usually get temporary (or temp) positions or work on a contractual basis.
These employment services and staffing agencies screen applicants for recommendation to hiring companies. In some cases, these agencies also provide employees training on their prospective positions prior to actual hiring. In exchange, a portion of the salary will go to the staffing agencies.
Complaints against these kinds of companies can come from the hiring company or the employees themselves. Common problems center on the gross salary and salary percentage that goes to the staffing agency. Some employees may have been misled regarding the scope of the work.
The hiring company may also have issues with employees from the staffing agency. Employers may find them inadequate for the job due to lack of training or qualifications. Some employees may violate the contract, which almost always reflects poorly on the staffing agency.
There are several ways to file complaints depending on the gravity of the issue.
- Complaint letter to the staffing agency administration.
A complaint letter to the company is the first step. The letter should be formal and coherent. In some cases, you may ask for assistance from legal counsel to draft the communication. This is especially applicable if the complainant is seeking financial compensation or restitution.
The letter should state all the details of the complaint. If there is a specific person within the company that you wish to incriminate, state so in the letter. The issue itself should be discussed at length, with all the specifics included.
Example, if the complaint is against non-payment of back salary, the letter should state what steps the prior employee took to get the payment. The circumstances around the resignation or firing should also be discussed. Some staffing agencies can cite terms in the contract wherein going AWOL means salary will be forfeited. The responses from accounting should also be included.
If the complaint concerns both the prior employee and the hiring company, it is best to combine both in one letter. The employer may have already forwarded the salary to the agency. To include this in the letter will build a stronger case.
- Filing a complaint with the Department of Labor.
There are no specific provisions by the U.S. Department of Labor regarding staffing agencies. This means that any complaints will fall under the general laws. There are forms available on the Department of Labor website for filing different kinds of complaints. These include sexual harassment and discrimination complaints.
This step typically leads to a lawsuit against the staffing agency. Before going this route, make sure that the complaint is grave enough to warrant a case. Simple rudeness is insufficient and may only be a waste of time.
If the agency is found guilty, the complainant will often receive restitution. The license of the agency may also be revoked.
- Voiding the contract between the hiring company and the agency.
In most cases, hiring companies complain about staffing agencies simply because the people they hired are incompetent. This means a problem with their screening or training procedures.
Repeated offenses can lead to a violation of the contract between the agency and the company. If the company is a particularly big client, this can cause the staffing agency to become bankrupt or lose its credibility.