1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. General Business
  4. Article 11: Employment Agencies


Section 185 Fees

General Business (GBS)

1. Circumstances permitting fee. An employment agency shall not charge or accept a fee or other consideration unless in accordance with the terms of a written contract with a job applicant and after such agency has been responsible for referring such job applicant to an employer or such employer to a job applicant and where as a result thereof such job applicant has been employed by such employer, except for class "C" employment: (a) after an agency has been responsible for referring an artist to an employer or such employer to an artist and where as a result thereof such artist has been employed by such employer; or (b) after an agency represents an artist in the negotiation or renegotiation of an original or pre-existing employment contract and where as a result thereof the artist enters into a negotiated or renegotiated employment contract. For class "C" employment pursuant to this paragraph, an employment agency shall provide an artist with a statement setting forth in a clear and concise manner the provisions of this section and section one hundred eighty-six of this article.

  The maximum fees provided for herein for all types of placements or employment may be charged to the job applicant and a similar fee may be charged to the employer provided, however, that with regard to placements in class "B" employment, a fee of up to one and one-half times the fee charged to the job applicant may be charged to the employer. By agreement with an employment agency, the employer may voluntarily assume payment of the job applicant's fee. The fees charged to employers by any licensed person conducting an employment agency for rendering services in connection with, or for providing employment in classes "A", "A-1" and "B", as hereinafter defined in subdivision four of this section where the applicant is not charged a fee shall be determined by agreement between the employer and the employment agency. No fee shall be charged or accepted for the registration of applicants for employees or employment.

  2. Size of fee; payment schedule. The gross fee charged to the job applicant and the gross fee charged to the employer each shall not exceed the amounts enumerated in the schedules set forth in this section, for any single employment or engagement, except as hereinabove provided; and such fees shall be subject to the provisions of section one hundred eighty-six of this article. Except as otherwise provided herein, and except for class "C" employment, an employment agency shall not require an applicant while employed in the continental United States, and paid weekly to pay any fee at a rate greater than in ten equal weekly installments each of which shall be payable at the end of each of the first ten weeks of employment, or if paid less frequently, in five equal installments, each of which shall be payable at the end of the first five pay periods following his employment, or within a period of ten weeks, whichever period is longer. An employer's fee shall be due and payable at the time the applicant begins employment, unless otherwise determined by agreement between the employer and the agency.

  3. Deposits, advance fees. An employment agency shall not require or accept a deposit or advance fee from any applicant.

  4. Types of employment. For the purpose of placing a ceiling over the fees charged by persons conducting employment agencies, types of employment shall be classified as follows:

  Class "A"--domestics, household employees, unskilled or untrained manual workers and laborers, including agricultural workers;

  Class "A1"--non-professional trained or skilled industrial workers or mechanics;

  Class "B"--commercial, clerical, executive, administrative and professional employment, all employment outside the continental United States, and all other employment not included in classes "A", "A1", "C" and "D";

  Class "C"--theatrical engagements;

  Class "D"--nursing engagements as defined in article one hundred thirty-nine of the education law.

  5. Fee ceiling: For a placement in class "A" employment the gross fee, including the deposit if any, shall not exceed, in percentage of the first full month's salary or wages, the following: where no meals or lodging are provided ............................ 10 % where one meal per working day is provided ........................ 12 % where two meals per working day are provided ...................... 14 % where three meals and lodging per working day are provided .......................................................... 18 % Where all parties to the employment agreement understand or agree at the time the employment is entered into that it shall be for a period shorter than one month, the gross fee shall not exceed ten per cent, twelve per cent, fourteen per cent or eighteen per cent respectively of the salary or wages actually paid.

  6. Fee ceiling: For a placement in Class "A1" employment the gross fee shall not exceed one week's wages where all parties to the employment agreement understand or agree at the time the employment is entered into that it shall be for a period for ten weeks or more. Where all parties to the employment contract agree and understand at the time the employment contract is entered into that it shall be for a period shorter than ten weeks, the gross fee shall not exceed ten per cent of the wages or salary actually received.

  7. Fee ceiling: For a placement in Class "B" employment the gross fee shall not exceed, in percentage of the first full month's salary or wages, the following:

  where such first full month's salary or wages is less than $750 .................................................... 25 % at least $ 750 but less than $ 950 ................................ 35 % at least $ 950 but less than $1150 ................................ 40 % at least $1150 but less than $1350 ................................ 45 % at least $1350 but less than $1500 ................................ 50 % at least $1500 but less than $1650 ................................ 55 % at least $1650 or more ............................................ 60 % Provided however, that where the placement is for employment in which the applicant will be paid on a straight commission basis or on the basis of a drawing account plus commissions, the gross fee shall be based on percentages in the above schedule applied to an amount equivalent to one-twelfth of the estimated first year's earnings, as estimated by the employer.

  Where all parties to the employment contract agree and understand at the time the employment contract is entered into that it shall be for a period shorter than four months the gross fee shall not exceed fifty percent of the fee prescribed in the schedule in this subdivision or ten percent of the wages or salary actually received, whichever is less.

  8. Fee ceiling: For a placement in class "C" employment the gross fee shall not exceed, for a single engagement, ten per cent of the compensation payable to the applicant, except that for employment or engagements for orchestras and for employment or engagements in the opera and concert fields such fees shall not exceed twenty per cent of the compensation.

  9. Fee ceiling: For a placement in class "D" employment the gross fee shall not exceed, for a single engagement, the following:

  (1) for private nursing duty, five per cent of the salary or wages received each week through the first ten weeks of that engagement only, and such fee shall be due and payable at the end of each such week;

  (2) for any other nursing duty, the amount of the first week's salary or wages unless the first year's computed salary or wages to be derived for at least one year's employment is twenty-five hundred dollars or more, in which event the gross fee shall not exceed, in percentage of such salary or wages, the following:

  where such first year's salary or wages is at least $2500 but less than $3000 ............................. 2 1/2 % at least $3000 but less than $3500 ............................. 3 % at least $3500 but less than $4000 ............................. 3 1/2 % at least $4000 but less than $4500 ............................. 4 % at least $4500 but less than $5000 ............................. 4 1/2 % $5000 or more .................................................. 5 %

  10. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, no fee may be charged or collected for services rendered by an employment agency not licensed pursuant to section one hundred seventy-two of this article at the time such services were rendered. In an action to collect a fee, the court shall void all or any part of an agreement or contract with an employment agency that did not have a valid license at the time the contract was entered into or services were rendered; however, such contract shall not be considered void if a court finds a good faith effort by an employment agency to maintain its license despite clerical error or delay by the department of labor or the New York city department of consumer affairs.