Fire the liar?

Question: My husband listed a four-year degree on his resume, even though he only has a two-year degree.  When he was truthful about his education, he was not getting any interviews, despite having 20 years’ experience.  Three weeks ago, he started a new job, but today the HR manager sent him an email saying that the college could not verify his degree. He did attend this school, but left before graduating. My husband is not a liar. He was close to receiving his B.S. degree, and everything else on his resume is true. He only misrepresented his education because he was desperate to find employment. He plans to tell his boss the truth immediately. Do you think he can save his job?  – Worried Wife

Answer: Let’s be clear about one thing. Although your husband may be a generally honest person, he did lie to this employer. By doing so, he may have put his job at risk. In addition to being unethical, falsifying facts on a resume is just plain stupid.  Interviewers can easily discover the truth through background checks, which are increasingly common these days.

As your husband now knows, investigations can take place even after hiring, and many company policies require automatic termination of anyone providing bogus information. One unfortunate soul who lied on an application was fired after five years of employment. The falsehood was unearthed when he applied for a promotion.

If this company has a firm “fire the liar” policy, or if the degree is a job requirement, your husband is probably out of luck. Otherwise, his best bet is to plead for forgiveness and hope his manager is in a merciful mood.
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