HR Question of the Week – January 15, 2016

Question:

We recently found out that an employee falsified several pieces of information on his resume and application. May we terminate this person’s employment based on these lies?

Answer:

In an at will employment relationship, an employer can terminate an employee when it is discovered that they have falsified information on their resume or application. In fact, many employers have policies that disqualify job applicants who falsify information and make lying on a resume or application a terminable offense for current employees as well. As long as the policy is applied consistently to all applicants and employees, it is certainly permissible.

While lying to one’s employer can be a reason for termination even without a clear policy in place, having a policy and documentation to back up the decision will help protect you in the case of a wrongful discharge claim. If an employee decides to make such a claim against the employer, you would want to be able to show that the employee lied and that you had a policy in place that disallowed this.

Sample language we recommend for applications is as follows:

“I hereby certify that the answers given by me are true and correct to the best of my knowledge. I further certify that I, the undersigned applicant, have personally completed this application. I understand that any omission or misstatement of material fact on this application or on any document used to secure employment shall be grounds for rejection of this application or for immediate discharge if I am employed, regardless of the time elapsed before discovery.”

Source: HR Support Center | Copyright © 2017 AdvaPay Systems, LLC

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