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Was your job offer easy street or sleazy cheat?

The job market is tight, and if, like many in California, you have been searching for a job which will pay well and provide some security, you may be growing weary. After tweaking your resume and cover letter for countless employers with no luck, you may have started to feel desperate when, finally, a job offer came that sounded too good to be true.

Unfortunately, you are now realizing that the job may actually be too good to be true. After a few weeks of waiting for promised perks to kick in, you are feeling like the manager who hired you may not have been entirely truthful. Were you told you would have an office but are still working in a cubicle? Were you promised no traveling but are in your car several days a week? Were you assured of other benefits you have yet to see?

Fraudulent inducement

While it is common to hear of job seekers fibbing on their resumes, you may not realize that employers may do the same thing, luring talented candidates into jobs by promising what they have no intention of delivering. If you accepted a job based on false representation, you may have been a victim of fraudulent inducement.

A hiring manager may lie or exaggerate about the type of job he or she is offering, or the manager may misrepresent the length of time the job will last. For example, an employer may have offered you a particular salary, but your first paycheck was much less than promised. You may have quit your other job or even relocated based on the promised salary, and now you are stuck in a job that doesn't pay.

Job description deception

Some of the ways in which employers may attempt to deceive potential job applicants include the wording used in advertisements for open positions. Employers may hope that you will interpret their vague language one way when they intended something different — or nothing at all, for example:

  • Income potential: You may have to perform superhuman feats to reach the potential income quoted in such ads.
  • Flexible hours: A deceitful hiring manager may promise full-time hours but end up allowing only a portion of those hours. On the other hand, a 40-hour work week may be the minimum for a job that actually requires 50 hours or more.
  • Salary based on experience: Using this phrase allows a company to low-ball you.
  • Opportunity for advancement: Obviously, you want a job that provides the chance for moving up, but this phrase gives no clear idea of the promotions possible.

If you believe that false or misleading promises made during a job interview influenced you to accept a job, you may feel cheated and deceived. To determine if you have been the victim of fraudulent inducement, you may wish to present your situation to an experienced business attorney.

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