Questions abound whether IT consultants can be blacklisted by a staffing firm. Is it true or just another vicious Internet rumor? There’s no doubt that staffing firms can terminate IT consultants for breaking the rules or put your name on a “do not hire” list, especially if you quit without notice or offend an important client. But do agencies really share the names of ousted contractors? Do they blackball professionals for petty offenses? It’s a popular topic on Dice Discussions, so it's time to set the record straight. Rumor: You can be blacklisted for failing to return a recruiter’s calls. Reality: True. Although it’s more likely that he or she will assume you’re on assignment for another staffing firm and deactivate your file. Rumor: You’ve been blacklisted if a staffing firm stops calling. Reality: True and false. Beyond a serious faux pas, the recruiter calls may stop because of staff turnover, a lack of suitable jobs or making unreasonable pay demands. You won’t know for sure, unless you ask. Rumor: Recruiters won’t tell you if you’ve been blacklisted. Reality: True. They’ll probably tell you if you’ve been terminated for committing a serious offense, but generally speaking, they’d rather ignore your calls than confront your question about blacklisting. Rumor: Agencies share the names of ousted contractors. Reality: False. Each firm has its own database of employees and applicants. However, roving recruiters, contractors and IT managers may be privy to your status and refuse to give you another chance if they join a new company. Rumor: You can be blacklisted for complaining about a client, co-workers or the work environment. Reality: True and false. Contractors are rarely blacklisted because an assignment doesn’t work out, but a staffing firm may retire your number if you constantly complain or have a series of bad outings. However, you can’t be fired or blacklisted for claiming sexual harassment, discrimination or filing a worker’s compensation claim because every employer is bound by the same employment laws and regulations.

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