Employee Has Falsified Employment Information

When an employee obtains a job by making false statements regarding his physical limitations on the pre-employment application, he is not automatically denied workers’ compensation. Court’s decision depend on several factors.

In the instance where an employee has falsely stated his physical condition on the employment application, certain conditions must be met before benefits may be denied. The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from asking an applicant about his medical history or even requiring a physical before offering employment to the applicant. Once an offer of employment has been made, then the employer can ask about medical history and physical limitations.

In order to deny benefits to an injured worker who has falsified his employment application, the employer must show:

First, the employee must have knowingly and willfully made a false representation as to his or her physical condition. Suppose an applicant is applying for a job that requires heavy lifting. She knows that she has chronic back problems and is under doctor’s orders not to lift anything. However, because she wants the job, she tells the employer that she is in fine physical condition and can handle the task. This is an example of knowingly and willfully making a false representation.

Secondly, the employer must have relied upon the false representation and this reliance must have been a substantial factor in the hiring. In the above example, the job advertised was for a warehouse job that expressly states there is heavy lifting involved, say up to 70 pounds. When the employer considers her application, he will rely on her statement that she is in good physical condition. Since good physical condition is a necessary component of performing the job, the applicant’s statements of good physical condition will play a substantial role in the employers hiring decision.

Finally, there must have been a causal connection between the false representation and the injury. Going back to our example, suppose the applicant gets the job. She has stated she is in fine physical condition. The employer relied on this information when deciding to hire her. In reality she has a bad back and is currently under a doctor’s care. On the first day of the job, her back goes out when she lifts her first box. This illustrates a causal connection between the false information she knowingly provided, the employer’s reliance on that information and the injury she sustained because of it.

There are cases where an employee was awarded benefits even though he had a prior injury and did not inform the employer. In one case, the employee honestly believed he was healed up and fit to perform the job. When an employer asks a broad question such as “Do you have any physical conditions which limit your ability to perform the job applied for?” an applicants subjective answer, if stated in honest belief, may not disqualify the employee from receiving workers’ compensation benefits.

A. Defining An Employee

B. The Distinction Between Employee And Independent Contractor

C. Illegal Employment Contracts

D. Illegally Hired Minors

E. Injured UnDocumented Aliens

F. Employee Has Falsified Employment Application