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Problem employee—and she hasn’t even started!

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in Human Resources

Q. We just hired a new employee, but there were problems even before she started. She delayed her start date and provided an excuse. I called her former employer and learned she had lied to me about her prior salary and about her departure date from that employer. If I had known the truth, I doubt I would have hired her. Now the fact that I know she lied to me even before she started work leaves me with the conclusion that I can’t trust her. Can I fire her even before she starts?

A. Yes. You should be able to withdraw the offer of employment to her without significant risk based on these circumstances.

She might argue that she quit in reliance on your offer, and so withdrawing the offer would be unfair and has caused her damages. But you have a valid reason to do so, and it’s all her own fault. Maybe it’s better that you found this out before she started!

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