An employment application dispute may arise in connection with the hiring selection process for a job. In employment applications, employers are able to learn a great deal about candidates.

In fact, numerous employers make their decisions based on employment applications, while the interview process is more a secondary aspect of the hiring process.

What Are Some Common Employment Application Disputes?

Common employment applications disputes may include issues such as:

  • Discrimination. It is against the law for an employer to discriminate against an employee or a potential employee with regards to certain characteristics, including:
    • age;
    • race;
    • sex;
    • national origin;
    • religion;
    • political affiliation; and
    • other categories;
  • Illegal questions. It is illegal for an employer to use illegal questions on an application or during an interview, such as questions that violate the candidate’s privacy; and
  • Illegal work status. Hiring an illegal immigrant may lead to serious consequences for an employer. In addition, employees may be held liable if they fail to disclose their current immigration status on an employment application.

Employment application campaigns which may be subject to illegal hiring laws include those that are:

  • Deceitful;
  • Fraudulent;
  • Unfair; or
  • Against the law.

Is it Legal for My Employer to Fire Me for Lying on a Job Application or Resume?

Employers are permitted to fire employees if they lie on their job applications. The majority of job applications have a field at the bottom for a potential employee to provide their signature.

If an employment application is completed online, there is typically a box to check near the signature which provides that the applicant certifies that everything they have written on the job application is true to the best of their knowledge and they understand that they may be terminated if the information in the application is proven to be false.

Many employers hire their employees by entering into a contract with that employee based upon the information that they provided in their job application. An employment application is a legal document which is why the application portion is necessary even though the individual submits a resume.

If facts which are provided on an individual’s employment application are not true, the employee has misrepresented themselves to their employer and the contact is deemed invalid. If an employee lied on their resume, it may also lead to their termination, depending upon what the lie concerned.

For example, if an individual lists the incorrect year of their graduation from college, it would not be considered as serious as claiming that they earned a degree which they did not earn. An individual who misrepresents themselves is a type of fraud.

Employers are highly unlikely to be interested in building relationships with individuals who have misrepresented themselves in order to obtain employment.

Are There Any Other Consequences For Lying On a Job Application or Resume?

Yes, there may be additional consequences for individuals who lie on their job applications or resumes. Employees may be terminated immediately upon a finding of false information in their application or resume.

In addition, the employee can also be treated unlawfully by their employer and will not be able to hold their employer liable. In other words, if an employer wrongfully terminates an employee based upon their religion or another non-work related personal issue, the employer may be prevented from holding the employer liable. This can happen if it was determined that the employee obtained their employment by lying on their job application or resume.

It is important to note, however, that employees are not permitted to use this defense in every situation. If the employee lied on their job application or resume, their employer must prove in court that the false information that was provided was a contributing factor in the employee obtaining their position.

In other words, an employer must show that the employee lied about an issue which would illustrate their capability for performing the job tasks required by the position and that the employer would not have hired them or would have, at least, fired them if the employer had found the false information earlier.

An individual’s reputation may be irreparably damaged if they lie on a job application or resume. In this era of online transparency and social media, job seekers should be very careful to be accurate and honest in how they represent themselves.

What if I Have an Employment Application Dispute? How do I File a Claim?

If an individual has an employment application dispute, in most cases, they will be required to file a complaint with a federal or state employment agency. The proper agency will depend on the type of claim the individual is making.

Application disputes which involve discrimination are usually handled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or by the state equivalent in the individual’s area. Other types of claims may require the individual to file their claim with a different agency or department.

Typically, an individual is required to exhaust their remedies prior to filing a private lawsuit against their employer for their claim. This means that the individual will have to file their complaint with a government agency, wait for the results of that investigation, and review the remedy that is proposed.

If the remedy proposed is not sufficient, the individual may be able to file a lawsuit. In certain cases, the individual may be able to file a lawsuit directly, however, an individual will need a waiver for this option.

Legal remedies for an employment application dispute may involve monetary damages to compensate the individual for their losses, such as lost earnings. Other remedies may also be available, including removing the hiring staff or replacement with other personnel.

What is Discrimination in the Workplace?

Employment discrimination is a common type of discrimination. It may include incidents where a group of employees is treated better than another group of employees based upon their membership in a protected class.

Employment discrimination may also involve other issues, including:

  • Harassment involving discrimination, such as harassing an employee due to their age;
  • Terminating the employee;
  • Denying the employee benefits; or
  • Other characteristics such as an employee’s status as a temporary or seasonal employee.

There are federal employment discrimination laws which may provide various legal consequences for discrimination. Each state has their own laws regarding employment discrimination.

Because of this, it is important for an individual to consult with a local attorney who can advise the employee regarding the laws in their state.

What Solutions are Available if an Individual Has Faced Discrimination at Work?

As previously noted, the EEOC investigates claims of employment discrimination. Depending upon the facts of the case, remedies for employment discrimination may include:

  • Being reinstated to a position after being terminated;
  • Obtaining promotions or other types of benefits that were denied due to discrimination;
  • Obtaining employment if the individual was not hired due to discrimination;
  • Payment of lost wages due to being out of work;
  • Requiring the employer and their company to rework their discrimination policies;
  • Removing an employer, supervisor, co-worker, or other person who engaged in the discrimination; or
  • Various other remedies.

Typically, an employee is only permitted to file a civil lawsuit if the remedies provided by the EEOC were not satisfactory. It is important to note that there may be federal caps on employment discrimination remedies and there may also be similar state limits on employment discrimination damages.

Do I Need a Lawyer if I Have an Employment Application Dispute?

It is essential to have the assistance of a discrimination lawyer for any issues, questions, or concerns you may have regarding an employment application dispute. Employment application disputes often involve complex legal issues and procedures.

It is important to consult with your attorney as soon as possible, to ensure evidence is preserved. Your attorney can advise you regarding your rights and possible available remedies, assist you throughout the process of filing a complaint or lawsuit and represent you when you appear in court.