I am temping for a company, and a week ago we found out that the recruitment agency has been lying to both me and the company about the salary. They are charging the company X dollars, and have told them that they are paying me %85 of X, but in reality they are paying me %60. Is there anything that can be done?

This calculation is valid both before and after taxes. And I know this because HR manager of the company showed me the agreement they have signed with the recruitment agency, and asked if I was being paid what the recruitment agency was telling them or not.

  • how do you know?
    – Kilisi
    May 22, 2016 at 23:16
  • @Kilisi Because HR department of the company showed me their contract with the temp agency May 22, 2016 at 23:36
  • Just clarifying... You don't list a country, so is it possible you're receiving the 85% as contracted, but your net take home looks like it's 60% because the other 25% goes to things like taxes, insurance and retirement benefits?
    – Kent A.
    May 22, 2016 at 23:53
  • 2
    You should at least complain to the agency. The same goes with your client employer. You could both complain at the same time, so that the agency doesn't give either of you the run around. Legally, there may be nothing you can do, especially if the agency was smart enough not put down in writing what it told its client, but if the agency cares about its reputation, it may be willing to come to a compromise and give you back you some of that money. May 23, 2016 at 5:30
  • 2
    @StephanBranczyk The company told their lawyer to look into it, not for my sake, but for their own. May 23, 2016 at 7:24

4 Answers 4


Based on the edit to the question, it appears that the employer already suspects the agency of some wrongdoing. Unless your contract with the agency prohibits your disclosing the details of your contract/pay with their customers (your current job), you should answer their question honestly, and let the company do what it feels it must do.

You need a new agency, either way. Either this incident upsets them and they end their relationship with you, or it upsets you and you end your relationship with them. Surely there are other agencies and employment arrangements you can find.

Sorry that you feel you're being taken advantage of. Good luck!

  • There is no clause in my contract preventing me from discussing my pay with the company, and I did. I'd be lying if I were to say I don't feel like being taken advantage of, but the fact is, what the agency is paying me is already above the normal rate. Right now I am more concerned about how to respond when a recruitment agency contacts me in the future? May 23, 2016 at 7:22
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    @iManBiglari From your perspective, any other recruiting agency you might work with will have its own arrangements with their own clients. You should tell them what your salary expectations are, just like you would with a direct hire scenario. Let them figure out the details of their arrangements with the clients to make it work for you. The only reason this current arrangement isn't satisfying is because someone has made you aware that you might be earning more. If you're happy with the pay, that's what matters.
    – Kent A.
    May 23, 2016 at 12:06

Outside of talking to a lawyer and closely examining your contract, you should definitely never work with that agency again. Suggest to your employer to do the same.


You have a contract with the agency, and the company that you are doing work for has a contract with the agency. Does the agency fulfil your contract? In that case, you can't do anything. On the other hand, the agency doesn't seem to fulfil the contract with the company. If their contract says that the company pays $X and the agency keeps 15% and pays 85% to you, but the agency pays only 60% to you, then the company can demand that either the remaining 25% are paid to you, or that their payments are reduced so that the money you receive is 85% of what you pay.


If you are contracted to get 85% of X then I would inform the agency that you are being underpaid and ask for an explanation. If you are contracted for a set amount then you have no realistic options apart from moving on.

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