What Are the Legal Implications of Fraudulent Resumes?
Dishonest resumes are rampant with up to 80 percent containing lies. Even more feature misleading or embellished information from job titles and responsibilities to licensing credentials and salaries.
High unemployment and tough competition for limited job openings are contributing to this alarming trend. In desperation, applicants without specialized skills or degrees are contriving better qualifications.
These days, high-tech scams are replacing minor fibs. Various Internet resources are enabling calculated resume fraud. One website offers a tax-deductible underground guide that trains candidates on various tricks. Some amplify their work experience and lie about their ages. Others receive college transcripts with any desired GPAs from any schools and manipulate their resumes so automated screening systems pick theirs.
Charlatans disguise employment gaps by creating fictitious jobs with closed or fake businesses. Disreputable websites charge job seekers to list bogus 800 numbers for phony work verifications and references. When prospective employers call those numbers, fictitious companies confirm employment and fabricate flattering recommendations.
Listing licenses and degrees from sham diploma mills is another growing trend. These online resources base their mock credentials on candidates’ life and work experiences. One such university awards degrees in only five days starting at $199 without attending classes, studying, and testing. Degree packages for any requested major include counterfeit diplomas and course transcripts with made-up subjects and grades.
Applicants can pay online services’ 800 numbers to provide prospective employers with education and degree verifications. More extreme cases entail job seekers hiring computer hackers to sneak their names into reputable university and college alumni databases so their graduation claims seem legitimate.
Today’s commonplace practice of deliberate factual résumé errors can translate into significant problems for employers. Such fraud sets companies back an estimated $600 billion per year. Shady candidates who get away with underhanded schemes to procure jobs may become unprincipled employees who harm your business in additional ways.
For your company’s protection, running federal background checks on all new hires is imperative. National PEO offers thorough background-screening services to determine if applicants are truthful about their work experience, college degrees, earned certificates, state licensure compliance, criminal histories, military service, driving records, and much more. Our experts will help you match a package to your unique verification needs.
Being familiar with these deceptive resume consequences can be helpful if this human resource (HR) issue causes problems:
Basics: While including untruths on resumes isn’t illegal, it demonstrates lapses in integrity, ethics, and trustworthiness. Certain distortions can create legal troubles for applicants or staffers. Organizations can sue any ex-employees whose lies misled companies and cost them money. If workers must make sworn statements, their deceits become illegal. Falsifying details to access sensitive government data or business records also can be unlawful.
Professional licenses: For some positions including engineers, carpenters, plumbers, and electricians, licensing by accredited state boards is mandatory to ensure that members meet specific educational or qualification requirements. Job seekers who claim to hold professional licenses dishonestly are committing crimes equivalent to practicing that profession without proper licensing.
Your company could face problems if unlicensed employees you allow to work harm anyone, so verifying all licensed candidates’ credentials is vital. Background checks will uncover fraudulently reported licenses. You also can confirm them on state agency websites and certain private sites linking to all government databases.
Liability: Fabricated resumes can cause serious liability concerns for your organization. When you hire people who are unqualified to perform their jobs, customers who suffer harm could sue your firm for negligence. Even though you might have the right to sue employees who lied on their resumes, you must demonstrate that their falsehoods harmed your business and you couldn’t have known applicants were being deceitful.
Termination: Although you may consider lying to land a job a clear offense, immediate dismissal can be a complicated process. In at-will employment states, that should be fine for an employee without a contract. But if your state demands cause for termination and discredited crooked staffer has a work contract, you might need to prove his fraud or that he’s otherwise unqualified for his job.
Document all incidents involving that worker and point out his resume deceptions before terminating him. If you make a false accusation to a contracted employee that he lied on his resume, he could bring a wrongful termination suit against your company. So first, be certain that a background check established resume fraud.