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Don’t ‘oversell’ job offers, or you’ll risk a fraud lawsuit

by on
in Employment Law,Human Resources

Avoid the temptation to lure star applicants by painting an overly rosy financial picture about your company or making misleading statements about job security.

With one faulty promise, you could unintentionally create an employment contract with the employee. Or, such fact-fudging could put you on the wrong end of a fraud lawsuit.

Recent case: Pierre Arboireau accepted a job at Adidas and relocated his family from France to Oregon. Six months later, Adidas moved the position overseas, terminating Arboireau's job in Oregon. He sued, alleging breach of contract and fraud, claiming Adidas said the job would last for at least two years.

A federal appeals court sided with Arboireau and sent the case to trial, saying a jury could find that Adidas intentionally misrepresented the position by failing to reveal that the job could be moved overseas. (Arboireau v. Adidas-Salomon AG, No. 02-35398, 9th Cir., 2003)

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