Lying on a resume or job application

The most common resume lies

The job market is savage. We get it. Having a degree has lost its value and expectations and requirements seem to endlessly increase for jobs. Graduated with a 3.7 GPA? How about 3.8 or higher. Nothing seems good enough for employers, right? Well maybe just a bit of finessing here and there and your resume will look more appealing. Let’s stretch the truth a little to make that recruiter happy. Unfortunately, the nature of our job market has made this a reality. It’s been said that half of employees know someone who has lied on their resume. 53% of managers have suspicions that applicants have lied, and 38% have denied a job after finding out. Maybe that statistics doesn’t deter you, but let’s look at the legality of lying on a resume or job application.

Is it illegal to lie on a resume?

A resume, cover letter, or job application is not an official legal document so it is technically not illegal to lie on your resume. However, it is illegal to fabricate certificates or other documents that back up your resume. Also, the legality of lying on a resume does not undo any of the numerous negative repercussions you may face from doing so. If you lie on a resume or job application and your employer finds out, you can lose your job, lose trust, and possibly create an inability to file wrongful termination lawsuits later on down the road. The most common types of lying on resumes are embellished skill sets, embellished responsibilities, dates of employment, job titles, and academic degrees. Are you facing dilemmas with any of these exaggerations or lies? Speak with one of our lawyers for guidance.

One way in which your fraud may be exposed is if your alma mater cannot confirm you attended that school. In fact, in California, an employer can verify if you graduated from a school thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). There are a lot rules surrounding this statute. An employer must first have a written document outlining their suspicions as reason to conduct a background report, and the applicant must provide written consent. Certain positions employers are allowed to order background checks are a managerial position, a position in the State Department of Justice, a sworn peace office or law enforcement, a position where the employer must legally consider credit history information, a position that gives access to bank or credit card account information, social security numbers, and birth dates, a position where the employee will be name signatory on the bank or credit card account of the employer, a position that’s given access to confidential or propriety information, and position that gets regular access to at least $10,000. If you have any questions regarding the FCRA, talk to one of our employment lawyers today.

Can I get away with lying on my resume?

Other ways you may be exposed are if you claimed to have certain skills on your resume or application, but you are unable to pass your skill test. If you’ve lied about the dates of employment to cover up unemployment gaps, this may backfire too because a call to your last employer will straighten that up right away. The same goes for references. Don’t think that all employers don’t actually contact the references you list. Also, 70% of employers will Google you or look you up on social media before deciding to hire you. The internet can reveal a lot about someone. So while lying on a resume or job application may be tempting, there are many simple steps and employer can take to reveal the truth about you.

What happens if I lie on my resume?

If you are facing a wrongful termination lawsuit, but you have lied on your resume, this may be grounds to nullify your charges. So you’ve think you’ve gotten away with fudging the truth. You were hired for the job, and things are going great… that is until you were fired by unlawful means. If you were discriminated against because of reasons covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which include race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, you may not be able to sue for wrongful termination. After-acquired evidence is defined as information obtained by an employer which would be evidence already warranting the termination of an employee. So in the case of a wrongful termination lawsuit, if the employer learns that you had lied on your resume or job application, their damages may be limited, or your case may be dismissed. This can have a great affect on your life, so is it really worth taking the risk of lying to get a job?

Lying on your resume or application may also damage your employment history and make it very hard to find a new job. You may receive a bad job recommendation from your employer which can make finding a new job, especially in a similar field, very difficult. Sometimes employers will flag candidates who are known to lie on their resumes. It’s been proven that 51% of employers say they will immediately disqualify an applicant if they find out that they have lied on their resume. It’s important to think of lying on a resume or application not as a victimless crime. It costs an employer a lot of money, energy, and time, to go through the hiring process. Also, if you do get hired based on false pretenses, it may cost the employer in other ways because you are unable to perform the tasks you say you are competent at, or you’re performing tasks you are not legally permitted to perform because of a resume lie. There are many things to consider when building your resume. Lying is probably an action you want to avoid altogether when it comes to the hiring process. It will save everyone from future issues.

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If you still have questions regarding your case, feel free to speak with one of our employment attorneys. At California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group, we understand not everything is black and white, and that no matter what, every employee has rights. At our free consultation feel free to ask any questions; we are here to help you learn about your rights and clarify anything you have misunderstandings about. Our zero-fee guarantee also promises that if we do take on your case, it will not cost you anything unless we win. Instead of taking another risk on behalf of your career, feel safe with us at California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group.