Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 2 months ago

Can I get sued in the future for lying about my degree?

I have a friend who works in retail.

A few years ago, long after he started this retail job, he was getting his masters in a field completely unrelated to his current line of work.

He didn't finish that degree, and didn't get his masters, but, for reasons he doesn't know or understand, he lied to his coworkers about it. They believe he has his masters.

Now, it's been a few years since he lied and it's eating him up, and his anxiety is going through the roof. Everytime a new person comes to work, they shout praises that my friend has his masters.

He is constantly worried that it's going to come back to bite him when he decides to pursue his career in the field for which he was getting his masters. That his coworkers might try to sue him for lying when he becomes successful.

I tell him that lying in this context is not really any reason to sue, but he remains anxious and unconvinced.

I've told him that he should confess and get it over with, but he doesn't want to.

I've told him to forget about it then, but he can't. It's got a hold on him like nothing I've ever seen.

So I want to settle this once and for all...

---Can someone be sued for lying about one's degree?---

Please remember: 

-the retail job is in no way related to the degree

-he has not benefitted from lying in any way

-he did not lie on his resume to get his current job

-I think his employer might believe that he now has his masters, but, as stated prior, it's unrelated to his current work

Thank you.


Thank you for your prompt and well-reasoned responses, I didn't expect so many so quickly. I will relay what you've told me to my friend and with any luck he can finally move on.


I think someone might actually believe that the person in question is me. It's not. I'm not trying to convince myself about this - I already know the answer. I needed to prove it to my friend.


We're not American. You're just propagating a negative stereotype, Anonymous.

Have a nice day.

14 Answers

  • 2 months ago
    Favourite answer

    No.  People exaggerate all the time in social and work situations. Some make out they are talented or have a great love life or do interesting things in their time off.  Some boast about qualifications they haven't got. If we could sue everyone who ever exaggerated, the courts would grind to a standstill.

    If someone has secured a job by misrepresenting their qualifications, they can be dismissed. If they have gained economic advantage by intentionally misrepresenting their qualifications, there could be a case for suing them for any excess benefit they derived beyond what they would have got without the 'lie'.

    In your friend's case, there are no grounds for suing. Words cannot be unsaid but, with time, they may be forgotten. If your friend REALLY wants to clear his conscience, why not finish the masters degree?

  • L
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    He will not get sued but he can be fired for lying.

  • 2 months ago

    He could be a high school drop out telling coworkers he had 3 PhDs in fields actually related to his job and it wouldn't be grounds for a lawsuit.

  • 2 months ago

    Yes, as mentioned by others, in America you can sue anyone for anything. It's not free, but it's possible.  By doing so, the defendant's name would be permanently lodged in the court records for all to see, along with the allegations regarding the deceit.  Yes, it could be used as an effective tool to torpedo someone's career, where they may need to undergo a "background check" for any other position in the future. Investigator: "Please tell use about the facts in the affidavits filed in the case against you back in 2021."  You: "That case was dismissed."  Int: "Yes, but you never counter-sued them for defamation, or to seal the record, so we assume that what they said was actually true."

  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Tell your "friend" that he will get fired once he confesses.  Your "friend" should remember he's lucky to have a job during this pandemic.  He should think long and hard about this before proceeding.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    You must be American , who on earth would sue for something so silly. It is free to sue? Of course not, so it would cost thousands of dollars and they would have to prove it affected their life and they made a loss.

    Why are you people so ignorant?

    Any decent employer can look online to your .University and find out if you received a Masters.

    No ones bothered.

  • 2 months ago

    Sued?  Not likely, but possibly fired if he is promoted based upon fraud.

  • 2 months ago

    Anyone can sue anyone for any reason. To win a lawsuit, you must prove the wrong committed against you and you must prove the damages you are claiming. Past co-workers would have no claims for damages; how could they possibly be financially damaged by this kind of misrepresentation?

    He could be terminated from his employment if his lie was caught...and it would not matter that the employment was unrelated to the degree he lied about. Lying on any application is grounds for termination, especially that in many cases, employment is at will and there doesn't NEED to be any grounds for termination.

  • 2 months ago

    If somebody is harmed by the lie, then they could sue. For example if I thought the company was great because this guy had a masters, and I bought stock in the company. Then it comes out that he didn't have that degree, and the stock price drops. I could sue for my lost.

  • 2 months ago

    He will just look dumb.  In order for a lawsuit to be successful, the plaintiff has to show some loss associated with the behavior of the defendant.  None of his coworkers would be able to show a quantifiable financial loss due to his lie,

  • Rick B
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Sued?  Not likely.  Fired and blacklisted among employers?  Yes.

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.