Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. alleges in a lawsuit that it recently filed against its former Senior Vice President, Director of Sales Gary Pralle that – after the company fired Mr. Pralle – it discovered “pornographic materials” and “documents containing racial slurs” in his e-mails. According to Bon-Ton, had it known about this “after-acquired evidence” before it fired Mr. Pralle, it would have had “cause” for firing him under its “Executive Severance Pay Plan” such that Mr. Pralle would not be entitled to severance. In other words, Bon-Ton v. Pralle is an example of a company invoking the after-acquired evidence doctrine to overcome a breach of contract claim. (Bon-Ton also alleges that bad behavior by Mr. Pralle that the company knew about before it fired him also gave the company “cause,” but those allegations mess up the example so we’re ignoring them.)
We previously covered former Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson, who may have cost himself $10 million by inflating his credentials in a resume. Resume problems are not a one-off in the world of Suits by Suits.
One way in which untruths on resumes can come to light is through a defense called the after-acquired evidence doctrine, which employers can assert in response to wrongful termination or discrimination claims.
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