Contractors Lie | I have been asked to lie at work

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Contractors Lie
Contractors Lie

Contractors Lie Request

Janine sent us this about a client making contractors lie about their status to 3rd party clients.

Dr. McLaughlin,

I had been out of work for a few months when I got this contract. I started on Monday. On the very first day my boss asked me to lie to the clients.

I am contracting for a software house.

This software house is doing a contract for a big bank on debt management, which is my speciality.

However, they don‘t want the bank to know that I am a contractor as it seems that they would kick up a fuss.

So, on the very first day the boss, at my induction, told me about the situation and said that if anyone at the bank asks me, then I work for the software house.

I hate telling lies and don‘t really want to do it. However, I don‘t want to go back on the unemployment lists just after I got off of it.

Dr. McLaughlin, what would you do in my position?

Dr. McLaughlin’s IT Contractor Surgery – Contractors Lie

Janine, it‘s quite straightforward what I‘d do. I‘d tell them that I worked for the software company. There‘s no two ways about it. If that‘s what they wanted I‘d give it to them.

However, I suspect that this is not the answer that you want.

You are not happy to lie about it. You‘ll worry about it the whole time you are there and will hope that they never ask you.

I think that the best advice for you would be for you to go and speak to the boss again.

Don‘t say that you are not going to do as he says and lie about it.

Just tell him that you are not comfortable with the situation and ask if he can try and work out another way round it.

The chances are that he will. Bosses know that they are not allowed to tell people to lie even if you are a contractor. If they sacked you for that then you could potentially sue them for loss of earnings.

Don’t Make Contractors Lie

If you don‘t want to do that, you could simply brass it out. Just because someone asks you a question it doesn‘t mean you have to answer it.

If someone does ask, you could just say that it was a bit of a cheeky question.

Or you could say ‘Yes and No. It‘s a bit complicated. I don‘t really have time to explain’.

I mean, you do actually work for them, but on a contract basis.

I‘m not sure that this is what you are looking for, and if anyone else wants to chip in with some advice then feel free.

The last thing you want to do is to lose your contract over it.

Continue in the Job

I would say that you do both of the above, i.e. ask them to think of another solution, and if they can‘t or won‘t, and you don‘t want to lie, continue in the job until you are asked a question that you can‘t think your way out of without lying.

At least you‘ll get paid up to that date even if they kick you out.

By that time, hopefully, you‘ll be doing some work which will mean it will be more difficult to kick you out.

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