Avoiding Liability For A Falsified Resume

We’ve all been there . . . in the hot box for referring a resume with falsified information. Resume fraud is now, and probably always has been, a problem of epidemic proportions. It’s one of the major reasons for Errors and Omissions Insurance. Courts are increasingly holding you responsible for the sins of your candidates and the promotional term “Pre-screened candidates” has been taken to mean that your candidates have been reference-checked and are precisely as they are presented.

The very nature of a resume is hyperbole and no one believes that resumes aren’t written to hide, disguise or omit candidate warts. But, you should protect yourself against any legal ramifications and put employers on notice that you don’t intend to bear the blame when an imposter slips through.

We recommend that each resume be stamped or labeled with the following statement:

This resume contains information furnished by the candidate, and has not been independently verified by _______________.

You can also use similar wording in cover letters to clients, but since they can be separated from the resumes or lost, a statement on the resume itself is preferable.

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More legalistic words can be used, but the key is to place the client on notice that you are not warranting the information while not implying that it’s false.

We urge you to adopt this procedure, since the trend is to hold recruiters liable for negligent and intentional misrepresentations.

Jeff Allen, J.D., C.P.C. may be reached at: Law Offices of Jeffrey G. Allen, 9601 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1400, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, (310) 559-6000.

More than thirty-five years ago, Jeffrey G. Allen, J.D., C.P.C. turned a decade of recruiting and human resources management into the legal specialty of placement law. Since 1975, Jeff has collected more placement fees, litigated more trade secrets cases, and assisted more placement practitioners than anyone else. From individuals to multinational corporations in every phase of staffing, his name is synonymous with competent legal representation. Jeff holds four certifications in placement and is the author of 24 popular books in the career field, including bestsellers How to Turn an Interview into a Job, The Complete Q&A Job Interview Book and the revolutionary Instant Interviews. As the world?s leading placement lawyer, Jeff?s experience includes: Thirty-five years of law practice specializing in representation of staffing businesses and practitioners; Author of ?The Allen Law?--the only placement information trade secrets law in the United States; Expert witness on employment and placement matters; Recruiter and staffing service office manager; Human resources manager for major employers; Certified Personnel Consultant, Certified Placement Counselor, Certified Employment Specialist and Certified Search Specialist designations; Cofounder of the national Certified Search Specialist program; Special Advisor to the American Employment Association; General Counsel to the California Association of Personnel Consultants (honorary lifetime membership conferred); Founder and Director of the National Placement Law Center; Recipient of the Staffing Industry Lifetime Achievement Award; Advisor to national, regional and state trade associations on legal, ethics and legislative matters; Author of The Placement Strategy Handbook, Placement Management, The National Placement Law Center Fee Collection Guide and The Best of Jeff Allen, published by Search Research Institute exclusively for the staffing industry; and Producer of the EMPLAW Audio Series on employment law matters. Email him at jeff@placementlaw.com.

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