Lies, Dirty Dirty Lies

What happens if you’re misled into taking a job?

Mainstreet.com has collected some heinous examples of people who say they were presented a totally different job than the one they ended up taking. A guy who landed an internship at an ad agency showed up to find out that the “agency” was his boss’s living room and his responsibilities were to act as an unpaid personal assistant; a communications pro took a job only to find out that her out-of-pocket medical expenses were three times higher than she’d been told and her salary was mysteriously $5,000 lower than she’d been promised. (This all sounds a lot like a recent adventure of Miss Jobless..)

Unfortunately, you don’t have too many options in this case. Even suing, America’s favorite pastime, hasn’t been too successful in employment bait-and-switch cases. There have been a few rare examples, MainStreet reports, like when an employee sued Group Health after she was promised she wouldn’t have to take a writing test. She did have to take the test, three weeks into her job, failed it, and was fired.

But in general, “if you’re lured to a company on the belief that it is expanding quickly and will take on interesting new projects in the future, you can’t turn around and sue them if that doesn’t come to pass.” And even if you want to resolve things nicely, if your boss doesn’t feel like holding up her end of the bargain, you can either suck it up or quit.

There are a few things you can do to protect yourself, including getting every detail of the offer in writing and checking on LinkedIn to see if the company has extremely high turnover, but practically, that won’t always protect you if your boss is a monster. Our suggestion? Ask lots of questions at the interview and go with your gut if you have a bad feeling.