Premium job site TheLadders is being sued in a New York federal court on allegations that the company promises users access to exclusive high-paying jobs that don’t actually exist.
Law firm Bursor & Fisher filed the proposed consumer protection class action suit on Monday on behalf of plaintiff Barbara Ward. A complete copy of the lawsuit was posted by recruiting consultant Nick Corcodilos, who often writes about TheLadders on his blog, Ask The Headhunter.
The suit alleges:
“From its inception until September, 2011, TheLadders scammed its customers into paying for its job board service by misrepresenting itself to be ‘a premium job site for only $100k+ jobs, and only $100k+ talent.’ In fact, TheLadders sold access to purported ‘$100k+’ job listings that (1) did not exist, (2) did not pay $100k+, and/or (3) were not authorised to be posted on TheLadders by the employers.”
“Unlike other online job boards which are free to join, TheLadders charged a premium subscription fee to members for ‘hand-screen[ing] every job post and recruiter so you only see real, open $100k+ jobs in your area.’ In reality, however, its job postings were not hand-screened. They were ‘scraped’ from the Internet without authorization from employers or recruiters, and the employment opportunities were not for ‘real, open $100k+ jobs.’ Moreover, TheLadders had no process in place to ensure that these posted positions ever truly existed, remained open, or that they met its minimum advertised salary criteria of $100k+.”
Business Insider reached out to TheLadders for comment and received the statement below from CEO Alex Douzet:
“We believe the allegations set forth in this complaint to be false. In fact, our employees review job listings before they are posted to our site, as has always been our protocol. Additionally, we have a team of specialists who review resumes and provide individualized critiques. This complaint lacks merit, and we fully intend to take the necessary legal steps to dispose of it quickly. In the interim, we remain steadfast in our commitment to providing the best job-matching experience for employers and job seekers, while serving as the fastest-growing source for career-driven professionals.”
TheLadders was founded in 2003 by Douzet, Andrew Koch, and Marc Cenedella and advertised itself as a job board that caters to job seekers looking for six-figure jobs. To get a premium membership, users have to pay a subscription fee of $25 a month, promising them access to “hand-screened” jobs. The site is also accessible to recruiters for a fee.
Other specific counts alleged in the proposed class action include breach of contract, money received, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, violation of the Arkansas Deceptive and Unconscionable Trade Practices Act, and unjust enrichment.
The lawsuit doesn’t specify the amount of money being sought by the plaintiffs. However, it does request that punitive damages and all money collected through these premium subscriptions be returned to customers.