It can be extremely tempting to lie on your resume or job application, but there are enormous drawbacks to providing false or partially true information to a potential employer. From a practical standpoint, lying on your resume or job application should be avoided at all costs, especially since the majority of companies are now required to perform background checks on candidates. If you have ever wondered about the impact that lying on a resume can have on your career, read the information below.
This may seem like the most obvious drawback to providing false information on an application, but lying can get you fired. Your chances of being terminated increase exponentially when you lie about something that is extremely relevant to your job. For example, if you are applying to be a chef, but you do not have any formal culinary training, you will most certainly be terminated if anyone finds out. Lies regarding education, training, and experience are especially detrimental, since these are the most important components to job performance. If you are terminated for lying, it can even prevent you from finding another job in the future, since your actions will be detailed on your employment record.
The “After-Acquired Evidence” Theory
If you think your problems stop at termination, think again. If you are terminated for lying, you may not be able to take legal action against your employer, even if your employer engages in illegal acts. For example, if you are discriminated against due to your ethnicity or age, you will not be able to sue your employer if you lied on your job application. This is because if you had remained honest, your employer would not have hired you in the first place, so you are largely responsible for your employment issues. This is the dominant theory that is used in the majority of court cases regarding discrimination against dishonest employees.
The theory above is referred to as the “after-acquired evidence” theory, and it is supported in the following situations:
- You are terminated for a former cause that you did not disclose initially (ex: your present employer finds out that you stole medical supplies in your previous position as a nurse).
- You provide your employer with a fictitious educational background.
- You fail to discuss your criminal record.
- You fail to list an employer on your application or resume.
- You make untrue statements about your professional experience.
The “after-acquired evidence” theory covers many different actions, but there are ways around it. For example, the majority of courts will not rule against you completely if your employer can only provide confidential records during the case. You may still win if your lawyer proves that your employer engaged in discriminatory behavior, but the amount of your reward may be greatly diminished. It should be noted, however, that these employee wins are exceptionally rare, and in most instances your case will be dismissed if you lied on your initial resume or application.
Despite the rarity of these wins, you may still have a case if your former employer cannot prove that you would not have been hired in the first place. This argument is usually posed when an employee, although dishonest, adequately performs the job. Your employer will also be required to prove that the lies you provided on your application directly influenced your capacity to perform the job and would have been enough to keep you from being hired in the first place.
Avoid Lying Altogether
Lying on a resume is always a horrible choice, but if you are discharged from your job due to discrimination or harassment, you do have legal recourse. This can be difficult to prove, especially if you lied about important details. Simply put, if you want to avoid this complicated and unpleasant scenario, just avoid lying altogether.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.