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The boss's daughter is looking to get a job. She put on her resume that she's worked at her mom's office (where I am the office manager) for 6 months last year. She did not. She's never worked in the office (I've been here 6 years).

I got a job verification form asking me to verify employment dates. I brought this up to the boss and she wants me to "just verify what she wrote".

I am not comfortable lying about this, but the boss won't lie either (claims that her verifying the info when she has the same last name looks "fishy"--never mind that she's willing to lie about employment to begin with).

What are the consequences of lying on the verification and what are my rights to refuse to do so?

  • 6
    Are you in the US? Did you see the last line of an Employment Verification form? It says: "Section 1001 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code makes it a criminal offense to make willful false statements or misrepresentations to any Department or Agency of the United States as to any matter within its jurisdiction". Pretty self explanatory. – Adam Smith Feb 3 '18 at 0:54
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    @AdamSmith - I'm looking that up, and I only find where that applies when giving information to the government. Can you provide more info? Agree with the sentiment, but the law seems to not apply to every situation. – Wesley Long Feb 3 '18 at 2:19
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    NotaLawyerBut, if it's not 1001 it can still be 18 U.S.C. § 1341 or 1343 if communicated by mail or wire. There's also: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Job_fraud - depending upon where the info is going you could be in Court until you're broke. Don't work for shady businesses or involve yourself with their practices. You're getting nothing for risking everything. If everything goes OK and years down the road the first place that got duped forwards the poisoned info to somewhere else and they catch it then it can still come back at you. Adam is correct, don't do it. – Rob Feb 3 '18 at 6:48
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    @WesleyLong I am not a specialist in US laws and also not a lawyer, but even if his actions do not fall under criminal law, he could still be prosecuted by anyone that was harmed by this false statement under civil law. If his boss is pressuring him to sign it, it seems evident she will use it either for a government agency or a private party. In both cases, OP may get into legal problems, so I don't think he should sign it, even if it means he will lose his job. – Adam Smith Feb 3 '18 at 11:49
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    @bharal The statement "worked at mom's office" is probably what is (mis)leading people to that conclusion. – Masked Man Feb 3 '18 at 16:29
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You have to do the following things:

  • Do not sign it under any circumstances
  • Take a copy of said document and store it somewhere safe (not your company)
  • Report your boss to HR for demanding you to sign a false statement
  • If HR does not agree to take you from her chain of command, I would look for another job. She will most certainly retaliate.

If you get fired or think HR won't help you, talk to a lawyer and start looking for a new job.

  • You forgot to mention that HR is not your friend. They exist to help the company, and make your life, as painless as possible for the company. Most of the times those goals, match up, with "having your back" – Donald Feb 4 '18 at 14:18
  • @Ramhound "think HR won't help you, talk to a lawyer and start looking for a new job". HR has a real interest there, because if he suffers retaliation from his boss for not having signed it, he could sue the company. But yes, they can side with his boss, and in this case, he would talk to a lawyer and look for a new job. – Adam Smith Feb 4 '18 at 21:29
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IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer)

Legally I am pretty sure you can refuse to sign a false document.

It kind of depends on where the verification came from. A government agency it may be criminal to sign false information. If it is a company they might be able to sue for damages.

Your company could be mad if you sign a false document. Your boss may deny she forced you to sign the document.

For sure your reputation is hurt by signing a false document. It could get out in the workforce and community that you are not trustworthy.

If you just refuse to your boss she might retaliate and you have no proof she verbally told you to sign. She is not a person of integrity based on what has happened.

If you go up the chain (HR or her boss) she still could deny she told you to sign. But it just does not make sense that you would lie about this if you reported it up front. Even if they believe you and reprimand your boss you could still suffer collateral damage.

The fact you have a false document takes away from the credibility of your boss and her daughter.

Boss does not want to sign because of last name does not hold water. They are not going to question a validation based on a matching name. Your boss just does not want to sign a false document and is bullying you. I bet this validation was sent to you by name. Typically a validation would go to HR.

I do not think you should sign and deny validation. That is something that should be cleared by HR.

You are in a bad spot and should not sign in my opinion. If you just refuse to your boss or go to HR is a harder question.

It just does not make sense to lie about this in the first place. It is not likely to be the difference in getting a job and getting caught would be bad for everyone.

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If your boss wants a fake recommendation for her daughter, she can always write it (handwritten) and sign it with your name. That way she avoids the situation where the names are the same, and she gets a double whammy of lying about non-existing employees, which I would consider fraud, and forging a signature, which is probably document forgery.

And it lets you off the hook.

Or you could answer the verification request truthfully. Not showing your boss obviously, and adding you would appreciate it that your boss or your bosses daughter would not be informed about this.

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