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Employment Applications

Can I Be Fired if I Lie on My Employment Application?

                                                               By Valerie Kiffin Lewis, Esquire

Lying or misrepresenting your qualifications and experience on your employment application and/or resume' can be a regrettable mistake.  No matter how long you have been employed, no matter how many commendations. awards, or promotions you have received, a lie on your employment application can result in your immediate termination- even when you may have a viable claim for discrimination.

Imagine that you have filed a claim of race discrimination against your current employer.  Imagine further that after filing your charge of discrimination you are subsequently fired.  You speak with an employment lawyer and are told that you may have a good case for retaliation.  You did not tell the lawyer, however, that several years earlier you had lied on your employment application.  Although you may have a strong case for retaliation, the fact that you lied on your employment application means that you may have now played russian roulette with both your discrimination and retaliation case.

At first glance you may wonder what does lying on an employment application have to do with prevailing on a claim of race discrimination and/or retaliation.  Everything.  There is a doctrine called the after-acquired doctrine that courts have recognized, and serves to limit an employer's exposure to liability.  While the doctrine may not be an absolute bar to a lawsuit alleging unlawful employment discrimination, such evidence may, in appropriate cases, reduce one's ability to recover-what may otherwise could have been-significant damages.

When in doubt it may be wise to consult with an employment lawyer before filing a charge of discrimination against your current employer.  Otherwise, it may literally cost you your job!  For additional information or to schedule a legal consultation with Valerie Kiffin Lewis, Esquire, please call (954) 252-3400 or e-mail her at

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