Your Sendout Suddenly Became a Temp? Here’s What You Do

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 hired the candidate through a temporary service.

How Client Pays:

This move has several variations, but the usual ways it’s done is:

  1. Recruiter refers candidate.
  2. Client interviews candidate.
  3. Client likes candidate.
  4. Client gets fee allergy.
  5. Client calls friendly temp service for cure.
  6. Temp service is friendly.
  7. Candidate is hired by temp service.
  8. Candidate is dispatched to client on temp assignment.
  9. Client pays temp service for an agreed time (usually 30 days).
  10. Client exercises “conversion option” to hire temp (candidate) direct at a low (or no)  fee.

The fee key is proving you were the source of the hire.  That means proving:

  1. The candidate was hired by the temp service at the request of the client.  (If the documents show the candidate was already registered with the service, be very suspicious.)
  2. The temp service knew about the scam.
  3. The temp service didn’t previously dispatch temps for similar jobs with the client.
  4. The temp service acted pursuant to a consistent conversion policy.

Proving these things can be done.  Filing a lawsuit helps.  Particularly when it includes:

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  • Breach of contract (against the client).
  • Inducing breach of contract (against the temp service).
  • Interference with contractual relations (against the temp service).
  • Conversion (theft – against both).
  • Fraud (against both).
  • Conspiracy (against both).

As to conversion, fraud, and conspiracy, the candidate can also be named.  He will get very nervous, then ve-r-r-ry angry at the prospect of unlimited punitive (to punish) and exemplary (to set an example) damages (money to be paid).

Your basic employer lawyer usually reacts by preparing a mutual release of all claims, selling you on signing it in exchange for paying your full fee.

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


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