Staffing Agencies Face Crackdown On Employment Practices
Five New York staffing firms recently faced legal complications surrounding their staffing practices, which included unlawfully collecting personal data for use in hiring decisions and offering employment opportunities with far below minimum wage compensation. As part of a deal made with the New York Attorney General’s office, the firms have agreed to report any and all staffing clients who make discriminatory requests for applicants or seek personnel for positions that pay below minimum wage. Their agreement was reached after an eighteen month long ingestion into the hiring and staffing practices of the prominent firms. It also call for the staffing firms to revise policies and procedures which currently breach state and federal laws and pay a total of $20,000 in penalties, fees and other expenses. The NY Attorney General is looking to mirror federal crackdowns on the widespread employment discrimination and exploitation that occurs across the nation.
While New York’s local efforts are looking productive, the federal efforts are weakening under pressure from an increasingly chaotic climate. Current federal law prohibits discrimination based on age, race, color, religion, sex, disability or national origin and the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) would prohibit such discrimination practices on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for the majority of business. The current version of the ENDA awaits a decision from the U.S. House of Representatives after passing through the Senate in 2013, however many workers right groups oppose the bill provisions that exempt religiously affiliated groups. The recent Supreme Court decision affording religiously affiliated employer’s exemption from federally mandated healthcare ordinances has sparked religious interest groups to seek further exemption from these employment practices statutes. In an effort to prohibit such exemption, President Obama vowed to sign a the long awaited executive order that would bar discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity by federally contracting companies, thus setting a federal example for employment objectivity. The signing of that order has been delayed, causing human rights groups across the nation alarm and dismay.
Firms specializing in employment, staffing and human resource services are tremendously vulnerable to legal complications due to ever evolving employment practices regulations. The best hiring practice is to avoid any type of discrimination, and reject candidates on no other basis other than a candidate’s ability to successfully preform their job requirements. However, even the most careful staffing professionals are not immune to unfounded or incorrect allegations of bias, misconduct and discrimination, which can still lead to costly defense fees and settlements.
At World Wide Specialty Programs, we provide staffing agency professionals across the nation with the most comprehensive solutions to manage all their risk exposures. We understand the challenges facing today’s contract staffing firms and can help build stronger, more resilient staffing businesses with our clients. Our uniquely specific Staffing Agency Insurance policies include Employment Practices Liability and Professional Liability coverage to help protect staffing personnel and operations from legal allegation incurred through the course of their work. To find out more about how World Wide can fulfill your staffing needs, give us a call today at (877) 256-0468.