California law protects workers from intentional fraud by employers. Fraud occurs when an employer makes a misrepresentation about the terms and conditions of employment. When an employee relies on the misrepresentation to accept or continue employment, the California employment lawyers at Minnis & Smallets can help the defrauded employee pursue justice.
Fraud in the employment context generally occurs before the employment relationship begins (pre-hiring) or during the employment relationship. An employer may be liable for fraud or misrepresentation when:
In some cases, an employment fraud claim can be based on an employer’s decision to conceal important facts that only the employer knows, particularly when the employee expresses a desire to consider those facts when deciding whether to accept or continue employment.
In addition, fraud may include making a promise that the employer does not intend to keep.
Most legal claims for employment fraud involve false statements that induce an employee to relocate to accept an offer of employment. Employees are harmed when they forego other employment and incur the expense of relocating, only to find that the employer’s statements or promises about the job are false.
Other employment fraud lawsuits are based on false promises that induce an employee to stay in a job. “We’ll give you a raise in three months” or “We’re firing the supervisor who harasses you” are examples of misrepresentations that an employee might rely upon to continue employment. Employees are harmed when they turn down better job offers because they have been told that the conditions in their current job will improve.
Promises that an employer makes about compensation, the nature of the job, or working conditions concern “terms and conditions of employment.” Examples of fraudulent promises or statements about the terms and conditions of employment include:
Any other intentionally false statement or promise about the job will entitle the employee to seek a legal remedy for fraud if the employee relied on the statement or promise when deciding to accept or continue employment.
Employees who did not receive what they were promised are entitled to compensation. The measure of compensation depends on the facts of the case. Typically, employees are entitled to damages resulting from their reliance on the employer’s misrepresentation. Examples include lost salary and relocation expenses. The employee may also be entitled to recover damages for emotional distress.
A California law authorizes an employee to recover double damages if the employee proves that he or she has been induced by the employer to relocate or change residences based on misrepresentations by the employer as to the nature of the employment or the compensation to be paid. Other kinds of compensation, including punitive damages, may also be available in some cases.
Fraud and misrepresentation in employment can have a serious financial impact on employees. The employment lawyers at Minnis & Smallets help defrauded employees achieve justice by recovering the compensation they deserve. If you believe you were subjected to fraud, either pre-hiring or during your employment, you can learn more by calling our office at 415-551-0885 or by submitting our online contact form.