Ask a California employment lawyer:
I lied on my resume and I'm scared it will affect my case. What should I do?
Maybe you made a mistake about how long you worked at a place. Maybe you told a white lie about what your title or duties were. You could’ve lied about something you thought no one would care about, like how old you are or where you live. Or maybe you lied about having a license, a valid Social Security number, a diploma, or experience in a field.
Your situation isn't unique.
I’ve been an employment lawyer for a very long time. I’ve seen numerous resumes ... and plenty of those resumes weren’t entirely truthful!
Resumes have mistakes on them for all kinds of reasons. The first thing I ask my clients to do is review their resumes and tell me what facts are wrong. I can then determine the strategy of the case.
You still have rights!
Usually, lying on a resume makes no difference at all. You may not have been “vice-president of sales” at your last job, but it doesn’t mean your new boss can sexually harass you or bully you because of your religion! Even if you don’t have a valid Social Security number, it’s illegal for your employer to not pay overtime.
Not being “vice-president of sales” at your last job doesn’t mean your new boss can sexually harass you.
In certain situations, lying on a resume can be considered “after-acquired” evidence -- basically, your employer will argue you shouldn’t receive much money, because you weren’t entitled to your job in the first place. Or your employer may argue that lying on your resume is proof that you’re not credible.
It’s no surprise that unfair bosses are quick to find excuses for why they shouldn’t be punished!
The context of the lie matters.
Bosses sometimes retaliate by trying to dig up dirt. Don’t let an employer scare you from fighting for justice. I can see the big picture: I know if a mistake on a resume is important or if your boss is making a mountain out of a molehill. I also know how to successfully counter your employer’s arguments.
Justice can still prevail.
I take the necessary steps to legally frame the case so that the lie isn’t important.
Many of my clients are worried that I won’t take their case if I find out they lied. Actually, it’s very helpful to know when my client has lied. If I find out right away, I take the necessary steps to legally frame the case so that the lie isn’t important. I’ve helped to recover millions of dollars for my clients -- many of whom had lies on their resumes!
When I don’t know about the lie, though, I can’t help my clients. It’s like flying blind instead of flying with instruments. For example, I had a case where a client lied about whether she was fired from a prior job. The client lied on her resume, lied to me, and lied under penalty of perjury several times. I could have changed the case to focus on harassment, if I had known about the lie in advance. Instead, I found out too late and we had to settle for less money than we might have otherwise received.
Don’t let your workplace make you feel trapped!
The quick answer? Don’t give up! If you feel you’re being treated unfairly, contact us. Tell us all of your concerns (including what you put on your resume!) and we can explain your rights to you.
Please make an appointment for a free consultation in our Newport Beach office. You can contact us by email or phone. We want to help.