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Hired a dud? Double-Check that person’s qualifications and sniff out exaggerations

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

You’ve no doubt hired a candidate who looks great on paper but quickly shows deficiencies. The experience he or she listed on the résumé isn’t apparent when the person starts work. Before long, you realize your mistake and fire the new employee, who then sues for discrimination.

How to protect yourself? Double-check employees’ qualifications as soon as it becomes apparent they’re not up to the task. You may discover that the new employee exaggerated qualifications or experience. That knowledge can help you quickly prevent or kill any discrimination suit.

Why? Because, in discrimination cases, one of the first things plaintiffs must prove is that they’re qualified for the job. If the person isn’t qualified, he or she won’t make it to first base in their lawsuit.

Recent case: Denise Proctor applied for a consulting firm’s Medicaid Manager job, which required experience in Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and charity-care programs, which Proctor’s résumé stated she had.

The organization hired Proctor, but she couldn’t seem to grasp basic concepts about the programs. The firm fired her shortly thereafter and she sued for discrimination. The court tossed out her case after the company showed that she didn’t have any actual experience with the programs other than that she “was aware of the existence of such programs.” (Proctor, et al., v. ARMDS, Inc., No. 04-CV-899, 2006)  

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