I am a contractor for a very large bank in the US. The city I live in has several other large banks as well, and it is fairly common for contractors to move from 1 bank to another once a contract has ended.
I am currently looking for fulltime work, both on my own and through contracting agencies. Several of these contracting agencies have told me outright they cannot work with me because pulling me away from my current role would damage their relationship with these large banks. For example, a contracting company I have never worked with before wouldn't even consider me for a FT role at a non bank company.
Is this legal? If they are concerned about contractors leaving, shouldn't they be treating contractors better, rather than leveraging their power over other employers not to work with me? If it took, say, an extra $10/hour to keep contractors satisfied and not to leave, then I am taking on that extra cost myself because they are threatening the contractor agencies.
At the very least, unethical, and I know of some circumstances in which companies blocking employment elsewhere is against the law. Any HR experts have any insight?