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Bait and switch tactics in employment recruiting

Discussion in 'Employment Contracts & Work Policies' started by jzimmerman, Aug 7, 2012.

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  1. jzimmerman

    jzimmerman Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I had a steady paying job as office manager for a busy real estate firm, and answered an ad for a company looking for people to fulfill a certain role within their company in a specialized industry that I have had direct experience in for 10 years. This particular line of work allows those who receive high volume to make a very respectable amount of money without having to go in to an office everyday. (For the naysayers out there - no, it wasnt one of those "scam" jobs, I paid nothing to join - this one is quite common in real estate and completely legitimate)

    I was offered a position after passing their aptitude test with "flying colors," in their own words, to sign on as a real estate/BPO agent with their company, on the condition that 65% commission would be paid to me on everything I completed.


    I posted proper notice with my employer at the time, and after it was completed I began signing the usual office policy manuals and other agreements typical for the industry.


    When the contractor agreement was presented to me, there were stipulations in it that were definitely never mentioned/hinted towards or otherwise disclosed to me which would have definitely impacted my decision to leave my existing company, as it was a similar position to the one I was being offered. These conditions stated they would first deduct a flat rate fee, then deduct commissions from that net figure, not the gross figure as all of my correspondence with the company's recruiter had implied

    In the case of doing low-paying piece work, high volume is necessary in order to even scrape by, and it takes about 12 months to develop a consistent flow of income that you can live on. However, if one's profit margin is reduced below a certain point, it becomes unprofitable and a waste of time and effort. In failing to mention the additional fee deductions to be made prior to them even deducting their percentage, it brought the fee percentage from the advertised 65% down to closer to 52%, which is far too narrow to even consider this job an option!

    Having terminated from my previous job and no other employment prospects in the immediate future, I voiced my overwhelming concern in writing with the obvious bait and switch I had just witnessed, my concerns for being employed by real estate firm headquartered in California that is showing dangerous signs of not delivering their promises, and voiced my obvious dissatisfaction with their lack of disclosure of all the facts.

    Their response, in so many words, was "sign it, sit down, and shut up, or we retract our offer completely."

    With rent and a number of other financial obligations looming, I sat down and shut up, took the job, but I kept all records and did not forget. I figured it would come in handy later.

    As I had anticipated with slow volume and lower pay, I was forced quite literally into hock to even maintain the costs to do business at all, never mind the rent/electric/internet/phone bill - this included the sale of family heirlooms that were not replaceable due to sentimental value. It was sell it, or live on the street. Or not have the income to pay basic operational costs to continue being able to exercise my right to work!

    I don't know anyone else who works a full time job that has to go into hock to PAY to keep their job. Isn't that the purpose of working in the first place; to stay away from the pawn shops (unless you're buying something)?

    Question is - can they be sued for deceptive business practices, and what is the specific name of the violation?

    PS I also have physical proof of tortious breach of that same contract (28 counts in 60 days!) which I am pursuing litigation for, potential tortious interference which is under investigation currently, which came as no surprise when I caught them in the process - it led me to back-track to all emails I sent in the beginning stating my reluctance to even do this job.

    BUT... out of the 4 lawyers who called me back, none will take it unless they can get tortious interference out of the deal or something else financially beneficial to themselves....how unfortunate they only look out for their paycheck instead of defending the party who was wronged regardless of its fiscal outcome.

    However, if I also show proof I was misled into signing on under pretenses that were not fully disclosed by the recruiter, suffered loss of personal property as a survival mechanism as a direct result, suffered emotional guilt that has arisen for selling heirlooms to help a company that wound up breaking their contract in 28 ways in 60 days, sacrificed a better job as a result, and now continue my 4th week of no revenue at their fault, would that be a big enough carrot to hang in fornt of these lawyers?

    The wouldnt have bothered to call me if my case didnt have teeth, so I know there's fire to this smoke. Please help.
     
  2. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    I don't think you have much of an argument regarding your leaving the previous employer and signing on with the new... I believe that responsibility to fully understand the details before accepting the job and making the move falls on you.
    If after taking the job there have been clear violations in your contract then perhaps you have something to work with there.
    By the way you describe it, I don't see that you were duped out of your old job by false advertising or deception. If you were, you just didn't make it clear here. Even so... you still signed on and took the job knowing it wasn't what you wanted.

    It seems to me to be more practical to seek better employment rather than waste time and energy on a lawsuit that may go nowhere.
     
  3. jenjen35

    jenjen35 Guest

    I have a bait and switch issue as well. I was hired for one position, 2 days after orientation I was told they didnt really need that position filled so they wanted to send me to another department. I was terminated on Friday and they had already completed drug testing and background check. I turned down 3 job offers for this job.
     

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