Editor’s note: Jeff Allen has heard every employer excuse that you can imagine for not paying up — and dozens more that defy imagination. Over the last 18 months, he’s documented one a week. Because of the importance of collections, Fordyce will periodically reprise the most common situations he addressed. The complete collection is here.
What Client Says:
We changed the candidate’s job title.
How Client Pays:
This caper is different from changing the classification and position, because the formal organization structure remains intact. No new title is actually plugged in.
The captive candidate is simply giving us a “working,” “functional,” or informal” title that is proudly printed on his or her business cards. In some cases, it’s even printed on engraved letterhead (“The Office of the ______________”).
As with actually hiring him or her in a different position, you need to unlock yourself from that job order title. Your fee schedule is the logical place to do it. “In any capacity” are the logical words.
Beware of job titles tucked away in employer-generated PSA’s (placement service agreements). This is a common trick of employer lawyers. Then somewhere in another section of the PSA, there will be a condition (requirement) that states you only get paid if the candidate is hired in that specific job.
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If you’re given a title-specific PSA, it is absolutely imperative that you include words like “or similar position” so you’re protected.
The candidate’s business card or letterhead with another title isn’t evidence for the client. It’s convincing evidence for you!
Judges know the legal maxim, “Look past the form to the fact.” Set up the documentation correctly, and you’ll get paid.