Redress Risk Management (post until May 31/19)
Employment & Labour

Honesty is best policy when it comes to resume writing

While it may be tempting when faced with the prospect of a new, exciting job, lying on a resume or obtaining employment through fraud or misrepresentation can have serious legal consequences, Toronto employment lawyer Arthur Zeilikman writes in The Bottom Line.

The law views misinformation in the context of employment on a continuum — from benign misstatements to the most disreputable and deleterious forms of deceit, writes Zeilikman, noting termination circumstances will depend on where the individual falls on the spectrum.

“Depending on where an individual finds himself or herself on that continuum, employment could not only be terminated for cause and without reasonable notice or pay in lieu thereof, but legal action from the employer becomes a reality if the misrepresentation actually causes harm,” the article says.

“To understand the implications of deceitful conduct in the context of an employment relationship, it is important to know that at common law, an employee is not entitled to his or her job and, as such, dismissal can happen any day,” writes Zeilikman, of Zeilikman Law. “However, an employer wishing to terminate an employee has to provide reasonable notice that a termination is approaching.”

While the severity of the misrepresentation and its impact on termination will be a case-by-case matter, lying to an employer is never a good idea, says Zeilikman.

“Serious forms of deception can be fatal not only to one’s reputation and integrity in the workforce and the community at large, but also to a person’s financial well-being,” he writes.

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