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An interesting question from someone who wants to know whether there’s any legal recourse against the employer who lies during an interview.

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The question I was asked is, "Do you have any legal recourse against an employer who lies during an interview?"

I want to ask the converse question. Does an employer have any legal recourse against the job hunter who lies during an interview? We all know your stretching the truth during an interview. Can an employer so you?


Can you soon employer who lies during an interview? The answer here is a little trickier. If it was just said during the interview and there is nothing in the offer letter to confirm what was said, you are out of luck. That's because the reality is you could have misunderstood something that they said. They can deny that they said what you claim they said. How do you prove it? The answer is that you cannot.

However, if the offer letter confirms the statement, that's different. So, for example, if they lied during the interview and said you would receive a 6 month review and a salary review and the offer letter confirms it, you have a basis for a complaint. Normally, a lawyer wouldn't take a case like that because, at the end of the day, it is a small lawsuit, they would have to look at what the damages would be AND a lawyer would have to see that is worth his or her time. After all, I suspect you are not going to be willing to write out check after check after check to follow up on this lawsuit unless you thought there was a payday I had for yourself. The amounts involved in the case that I gave ($10,000? $15,000?) Is not going to be a lot for a lawyer to take on especially in a case where you're asking them to invest time and effort in a case without any documentation to substantiate the accusation.

In theory, the answer is yes; in practice, the answer is no because you can't get representation, there is nothing to confirm that what you said is true and, even if you have confirmation of the discrepancy in the form of the offer letter, they can claim. In some instances that, "We did this and his or her performance wasn't good enough to merit what we said we would do." It can be the basis for termination or the basis for a counterclaim and you will sufficiently damaged the relationship by suing that you can kiss your career with this firm goodbye.

This is a textured answer; I hope none of you have to deal with something like this. But, if you do, you're probably better off just looking for another job.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching and life coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1000 episodes,“ Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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