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Fraudulent Concealment - Employment

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What Is Fraudulent Concealment in Employment?

Fraudulent concealment in employment is when an employer deliberately conceals an essential term or aspect of employment from a prospective employee. As a consequence, the employee may be economically or physically harmed.

How Can an Employee Prove Fraudulent Concealment?

In order to prove fraudulent concealment, the employee or prospective employee must demonstrate several things:

  • That the employer lied about or concealed an important fact
  • That the employer had a duty to disclose that fact to the plaintiff
  • The employer hid or lied about that fact with the purpose of harming the plaintiff
  • The employee was unaware of the important fact, and would have acted differently if he or she had been aware of it
  • As a direct result of the fraudulent concealment, the employee suffered some kind of harm

In What Situations Does Fraudulent Concealment Generally Occur?

There are many cases where this can come up. For example, if an employment contract says that employees will not be terminated without cause before a certain date, and the employer plans to eliminate the employees who agreed to the terms shortly after that date, all the elements of fraudulent concealment are met.

Even if there is no special duty to disclose facts, the defendant may have a duty to disclose them if he or she discloses facts which need to be qualified. For example, if an employer says to an employee "I will not let you go unless you fail to perform," or "You need to be laid off for financial reasons" and knows that the company’s situation is such that the employee’s position will be eliminated soon, the employer would probably have a duty to disclose that fact.

While the employer is telling the literal truth, he or she is effectively lying by omission, which is fraudulent concealment.

Should I Consult an Attorney?

If you believe that your employer has fraudulently concealed something from you, and you have been harmed or injured by this concealment, an employment attorney can help. An attorney can help you determine whether you have a good case for fraudulent concealment and will represent you in your case.

Photo of page author Gabrielle Hollingsworth

, LegalMatch Legal Writer and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 05-22-2018 01:27 AM PDT

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