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Liar, Liar Pants on Fire!

March 13, 2019

A recent decision of the Fair Work Commission confirms that dishonesty in the recruitment process can represent a valid reason for termination of employment.



Everyone will have experienced a situation where a candidate embellishes their resume to secure a role. Often this includes exaggerating the seniority of a previous role, building upon takes/duties or responsibilities of the position, or even extending the period worked in a particular role. So, what happens if your employer finds out? Do they laugh at the fact you put your best friend as your reference, or do they fire you for being dishonest?

This question was at the heart of a recent Fair Work Commission decision: Charles Tham v Hertz Australia Pty Limited T/A Hertz [2018] FWC 3967.


The case concerned an unfair dismissal application bought by Mr Tham against his employer Hertz Australia Pty Limited (Hertz) for dismissing him after finding out he lied on his resume. Mr Tham commenced employment with Hertz on 25 November 2016 as a Vehicle Services Attendant and was dismissed on 25 August 2017. The reason Hertz dismissed Mr Tham’s employment was because he had engaged in misconduct by providing false and misleading information during the recruitment process. The false information involved Mr Tham claiming he had been employed by his previous employer for approximately five years when this was not the case.


Shortly after Mr Tham commenced employment with Hertz, things began to unravel, and Hertz began to have concerns about Mr Tham’s character due to several conduct issues in the workplace. These concerns led Hertz to commence doing their own detective work by making enquires regarding the information he had provided in his resume. Those enquires included contacting Mr Tham’s prior employer to verify Mr Tham’s degree, as well as performing a Google search to identify whether he had bought any proceedings against former employers. The search revealed that Mr Tham had filed an unfair dismissal claim against his former employer after being dismissed by them on 1 June 2011. This date was inconsistent with the information provided by Mr Tham in his resume as to his length of service.


Hertz invited Mr Tham to attend a meeting the following day to discuss the allegation of serious misconduct regarding the falsities in his resume. Mr Tham did not attend this meeting due to stress and Hertz made the decision to dismiss him at this time, despite not having heard his version of events.