Avoiding the Part-Time Employee Fee Reduction Argument

Editor’s Note: Every Monday, Jeff Allen offers you a tip about what you should do to ensure you never miss out — or get beat out — of your well-earned fee.

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What Client Says:

“We hired the candidate as a part-time employee.”

How Client Pays:

The most common area of part-time fee avoidance is with senior technical types who are hired for consulting on a project basis. Typical contingency fee schedules slip right past this practice, since they assume full-time employment.

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Of course, the full fee is cut in proportion to the reduction in full-time hours. So scour your fee schedule, employer-generated PSA’s (placement service agreements), e-mail boilerplate, invoices, and all other communication to clients.

Watch for any inconsistencies. They create latent (hidden) and patent (obvious) ambiguities (unclear meaning) when the documents are compared. If you prepared the documents or modified one from a client with the ambiguous language, the rule of construction (legal interpretation) requires it to be construed (interpreted) against you.

So be consistent, and clearly state that any compensation received by the candidate for less than 40 hours per week will be “increased to reflect full-time employment for the purposes of computing the fee.”

You’ve removed the ambiguity – and probably doubled the fee due!

More than thirty-five years ago, Jeffrey G. Allen, J.D., C.P.C. turned a decade of recruiting and human resources management into the legal specialty of placement law. Since 1975, Jeff has collected more placement fees, litigated more trade secrets cases, and assisted more placement practitioners than anyone else. From individuals to multinational corporations in every phase of staffing, his name is synonymous with competent legal representation. Jeff holds four certifications in placement and is the author of 24 popular books in the career field, including bestsellers How to Turn an Interview into a Job, The Complete Q&A Job Interview Book and the revolutionary Instant Interviews. As the world?s leading placement lawyer, Jeff?s experience includes: Thirty-five years of law practice specializing in representation of staffing businesses and practitioners; Author of ?The Allen Law?--the only placement information trade secrets law in the United States; Expert witness on employment and placement matters; Recruiter and staffing service office manager; Human resources manager for major employers; Certified Personnel Consultant, Certified Placement Counselor, Certified Employment Specialist and Certified Search Specialist designations; Cofounder of the national Certified Search Specialist program; Special Advisor to the American Employment Association; General Counsel to the California Association of Personnel Consultants (honorary lifetime membership conferred); Founder and Director of the National Placement Law Center; Recipient of the Staffing Industry Lifetime Achievement Award; Advisor to national, regional and state trade associations on legal, ethics and legislative matters; Author of The Placement Strategy Handbook, Placement Management, The National Placement Law Center Fee Collection Guide and The Best of Jeff Allen, published by Search Research Institute exclusively for the staffing industry; and Producer of the EMPLAW Audio Series on employment law matters. Email him at jeff@placementlaw.com.


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