A number of job recruiters who call me seem to be calling over a bad connection and have a pretty thick accent. This, in itself, is not an indication that they are calling from abroad, but is there a general requirement on a person working with a recruiter to make sure that the recruiter is authorized to work in the US?

Specifically, if they are hiring individuals who are US citizens on US soil and they are hiring for work at employers' US locations. It seems like these recruiters are out of the reach of the US law and yet they are making decisions which are fairly heavily regulated in the US (such as employment decisions).

The Labor Department cannot regulate their actions, either (if their entire organization is abroad). Could I be on the hook for conspiring to go around the US law if I go along with them without first ensuring that they can legally work in the US?

  • 1
    The person paying the recruiter (usually the employer) is probably more likely to need to worry about that. Also, the fact that they're doing business in the US (and being paid by a US client) puts them within reach of US law.
    – phoog
    Jul 19, 2017 at 5:24
  • @phoog, What if their business is fully based outside of the US, but they are working for some small employers who unwittingly didn't check that they can actually legally work in the US. You are questioning all of my premises, but you haven't answered my main question: could I be responsible if I use a recruiter who is not authorized to work in the US? For the sake of this question, let's assume that the recruiter is outside the US law, but an employer, wittingly or not, signed a contract with them. Would be afoul of any laws if I got hired through such a recruiter?
    – grovkin
    Jul 19, 2017 at 5:45
  • If I had an answer for your main question, I would have posted an answer, not a comment. I don't think you'd be liable, but I'm not sure.
    – phoog
    Jul 19, 2017 at 6:01

2 Answers 2


It may be that someone hiring a recruiter has to make sure some legalities are fulfilled. YOU are not hiring that recruiter. It doesn't matter to you. The company gives you a job, or they don't give you a job, that's all that matters to you. If the recruiter were put into jail for working illegally, or the company was given a millon dollar fine for hiring an illegal recruiter, that wouldn't affect you.


They are not working in the US.

Many, many companies employ workers in other countries and/or engage other companies in foreign nations to provide them with goods and services. This is not, in general, unlawful (just don't do it in Cuba).

  • Can you cite law(s) relevant to this situation, please?
    – grovkin
    Jul 19, 2017 at 15:54
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    Curious about your comment about Cuba. What would happen in such a situation? Jul 20, 2017 at 1:02

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