Public employee could be terminated for dishonesty on employment application holds Court of Appeals

In California Science Center v. State Personnel Board (2013) Case No. B244387, the Court of Appeals found an employee could be terminated under the circumstances for dishonesty on an employment application, affirming that the State Personnel Board (“SPB”) erred in overturning that termination.

The employer fired the employee for not disclosing the actual reasons he had been terminated from prior employment.  The employment application clearly asked for such information.
The Court found that the employee materially misrepresented the reasons he was terminated from prior employment.  Such dishonesty was “cause” for termination before the SPB.

Significantly, the Court also found that the employer would not have hired the employee if it had known the genuine reasons he had been fired from his prior employment.  Thus, the Court implied that the employer must show that it actually detrimentally relied on an employee’s false representations.

However, it should be noted that this case does not apply the “just cause” standard applicable to most discipline arbitrations.

For assistance with public employee discipline cases, contact your labor law counsel.

By Sean Graham | August 21, 2013

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