95-47.4. Contracts; contents; approval; tying contracts forbidden.

(a) A contract between a private personnel service and an applicant shall be in writing, labeled as a contract, physically separate from any application and made in duplicate. One copy shall be given to the applicant and the other shall be kept by the private personnel service as required by G.S. 95-47.5(2).

(b) Any contract that obligates an applicant to pay a fee to the private personnel service shall include:

(1) The name, address and telephone number of the private personnel service;

(2) The name of the applicant;

(3) The date the contract was signed;

(4) A clear schedule of the fees to be charged to the applicant at various salary levels;

(5) A clear explanation of when the applicant becomes obligated to pay a fee;

(6) A clear refund policy (or no refund policy) that conforms to the requirements of G.S. 95-47.4(f) and (g);

(7) If the applicant is obligated whether or not the applicant accepts employment, a clear explanation of the services provided and a statement that the private personnel service does not guarantee that the applicant will obtain employment as a result of its services;

(8) A statement, in a type size no smaller than nine point, directly above the place for the applicant's signature, that reads as follows: "I have read and received a copy of this CONTRACT, which I understand makes me legally obligated to pay a fee under conditions outlined above." In the preceding statement the word "CONTRACT" and no others shall be in all capitals; and

(9) A statement that the private personnel service is licensed and regulated by the Commissioner and the address at which a copy of laws and regulations governing private personnel services may be obtained.

(c) A copy of each contract form to be used with applicants shall be filed with the Commissioner. Until the private personnel service receives written notification from the Commissioner that the form conforms to the requirements of this Article and regulations adopted hereunder, it shall not be used with applicants.

(d) A private personnel service shall not require an applicant to sign a contract with the private personnel service before the applicant has had an opportunity to read the contract and discuss the contract with an employee of the personnel agency who regularly arranges contacts and assists in negotiations between employers and applicants. A private personnel service shall not coerce an applicant into signing a contract by applying or using duress, undue influence, fraud or misrepresentation sufficient to invalidate the contract under North Carolina law.

(e) Any contract that obligates an applicant to pay a fee to the private personnel service when the applicant accepts employment shall be physically separate from any contract that obligates an applicant to pay a fee whether or not the applicant accepts employment. A private personnel service shall not require an applicant to sign one contract as a prerequisite to signing another contract or to pay a fee as a prerequisite to signing a contract. Express violations of this subsection are the following:

(1) Refusal to allow an applicant to contract for counseling, job information or resume writing services, if the applicant does not agree to pay an additional fee upon acceptance of employment; and

(2) Refusal to allow an applicant to contract for services which obligate the applicant only upon acceptance of employment, if the applicant does not agree to pay a registration fee or to contract for counseling, resume writing or other services.

(f) If a private personnel service has a refund policy, included on each contract that obligates an applicant upon acceptance of employment will be a statement defining:

(1) The length of the period of time covered by the refund policy;

(2) The exact manner of computing the refund so that the amount of refund due the applicant will be clear;

(3) The conditions under which a refund becomes due to the applicant. The conditions of the refund, if other than unconditional policy is used, shall contain a definition of the reasons for which a refund will not be made. A refund will not be denied except for a reason so stated in the definition of the contract;

(4) A personnel service shall abide by the refund policy stated on its contract by promptly paying to applicants any refund due under the terms of the contract.

(g) If a private personnel service has no refund policy, the private personnel service shall include on each contract that obligates an applicant upon acceptance of employment, in a type size no smaller than nine point, a statement that reads as follows:

"__________ (name of private personnel service) will make NO REFUND under any circumstances of fees paid by the applicant." In the preceding statement the words NO REFUND and no others shall be in all capitals.

(h) If a private personnel service places an applicant in a position of employment, the compensation of which is based, in whole or in part, on commission, the private personnel service shall:

(1) Have a written job order from the employer that includes the anticipated earnings upon which the private personnel service may base its fee, or

(2) In lieu of the written job order required by subdivision (1) of this subsection, have a policy of providing the same fee reimbursement as may be available to applicants from employers under the provisions of G.S. 95-47.3A.

In no case may the applicant collect the same reimbursement from both the employer and the private personnel service. When the private personnel service elects to obtain the written job order from the employer and not have its own reimbursement policy as described in subdivision (2) of this subsection, the private personnel service shall explain to the applicant and the employer how the fee for the placement is calculated, and shall inform in writing both the applicant and the employer of the provisions of G.S. 95-47.3A governing fee refunds from employers. (1979, c. 780, s. 1; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 970, s. 2; 1993, c. 202, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 769, s. 29(a).)