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JPEsq, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5106
Experience:  Experience as both corporate in-house counsel and private counsel
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On a job application, I am asked have you ever been discharged

Resolved Question:

On a job application, I am asked "have you ever been discharged or forced to resign from a previous job?"

I have never been fired. I have been laid off due to economic circumstances. How do I answer this question? It is my understanding that "discharged" means fired or laid off for misconduct or poor performance.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  JPEsq replied 7 years ago.

I guess it is a matter of semantics. Discharged technically includes both termination for cause (getting fired) and termination for convenience (getting laid off). So you can probably safely answer either way.


But your potential employer may have a different definition than you, so full disclosure is the safest route. Just put "I have never been terminated for cause or forced to resign" and you will be covered regardless of their interpretation. Or even state that you were laid off for economic reasons.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
So would write this statement after checking the Yes or No box?
Expert:  JPEsq replied 7 years ago.
Either would work. You obviously want to check "no", and I don't think you are doing anything wrong by doing so. Even if you don't include an explanation. But your employer may see it differently, which is why I suggest an explanation.
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