Should I fire this guy because he bought his degree from the internet?

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You describe Thomas as competent, great personal skills, able to complete projects better than any of the other techs, and a friend.
Now you are considering firing him. On what basis? Lying on his resume? He didn't lie. YOU failed to perform due diligence and check his credentials. You think internet degrees are unethical? You certainly have a right to your opinion but that's not sufficient basis for legal action.
Does your company have a written policy re internet degrees? How about degrees from other places like the University of Phoenix, which has brick & mortar classrooms and which also gives credit for work experience. Does your policy reject regular university degrees where credits from junior/community colleges were accepted? If not, I doubt that you have a case for firing Thomas.
As an employer I'd be thankful for Thomas as an employee. I've had many employees with "Regular University" degrees who were totally incompetent.
If you do fire him using your stated rationale, expect a lawsuit. Which you will likely lose. And you may also lose your own job in the process.
Art

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No, dont fire him......
Wood Butcher wrote:

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Send Your Money to that email address and wave goodby. This is a con game.

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It's threads like this that make me want to give up rec.norm entirely.
Tom Watson - WoodDorker
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1 /
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You should give him oral pleasure.

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"came into work on-time, and pretty much completed projects better than any of the other techs in our facility."
Use your brain it obvious, havn't we all done things in the past we regret? I think you know you SHOULD NOT sack him.

--
http://www.connoraston.com

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I know "there's a sucker born every minute", but how did so many wind up on this thread?
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:
<snip>

OK, it's pretty sleazy spam. But the responses are very real and interesting.
- "Consult a lawyer before firing him."
The very first response! How American can you get? :-)
- "Fire him. First, because he lied to the very person that hired him (you). Second, to not would be a disservice to those that do work for you that earned degrees the proper way."
- "Don't fire him. Thank him. When he lied on his application, he lied to a faceless company. If you want to personalise it, he lied to the secretary he gave it to. When he admitted it to you he told a truth to a 'friend'/colleague with whom he felt a mutual trust developing, don't abuse this."
Somehow I don't think these guys voted for the same candidate in 2004.
- If it is written company policy (to fire those who lie on resume's), I don't see as you have much choice. If you don't enforce the policy this time and you do enforce the policy at a later date, you could be in for accusations of favoritism or discrimination."
The corporate lawyer's advice... CYA regardless of the ethical merits of it all. Keeps things simple and safe.
- "tell him that company policy is to fire, but instead you're just going to knock his pay down to what a person with no degree would get and put him on probation."
Good one! Keep a valuable employee, let him feed his family, yet teach him a lesson. Probably earn more loyalty for less money. But how to explain this pay cut and probation to HR?
- "If his resume says he got his degree frmm Fly-by-Night University, and that is the truth, he did not lie. Whether or not you fire him, or reduce his pay or whatever, because he does not have the qualifications you mistakenly thought he did is another matter."
A *defense* lawyer's answer - blame the victim.
- "Is it a legally recognized degree? If it is, then technically he wasn't lying. He's done a good job, but assuming the degree isn't legally recognized then he lied on the resume."
Beneath the legal hair-splitting lies a profound question that everyone ignores today: of what value IS a college degree except as an easy employment screening criterion? How can you weigh the difference between a no-degreer with 5 years of applicable experience and a fresh CalTech honors graduate? Is the difference narrower than we think?
Consider the aspects of a college education that make an applicant LESS desirable. Debt load, for instance. A typical graduate emerges from school owing about $100,000. Do you want him around the company till? Is he more likely to jump ship at the first flash of more dough? How can he possibly pass a drug test, unless he attended Brigham Young or Bob Jones University? Might he be a closet Democrat?
- "I would consider it a mistake in judgement rather than an outright lie."
A very Nixonian answer.
- "You should give him oral pleasure. "
A very Clintonian answer!
- "Use your brain it obvious, havn't we all done things in the past we regret? I think you know you SHOULD NOT sack him."
The answer Karl Rove got.
This thread has been thought-provoking, no matter what its origin. Thanks!
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Read the initial post. The original writer included the actual link to the "store bought" diploma factory. This is probably an advertisement disguised as a "request for advice".
John
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Dhakala wrote:

My favorite from another NG "Check my toothbrush?"
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If he's a competent employee why fire him? A lot of humans make mistakes in their dark past. This guy is man enough to own up to it. I wish I had been able to hire employees with the obvious intelligence that your man has. Bugs
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CLEVER SPAM.......
[snip]
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SPAM gets better and better.... btw send me your money cause I need it more than you ;-) I too offer degrees.. yep designed through mspaint program and printed off my $10 canon bubble jet... yep the same bubble jet where it cost $20 for a new printer with ink & $30 for the replacement cart. lol... get 'er done act now.... limited sheets of paper.....

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Looks like the link isn't working right now. No suprise there. I do think this forum has been hit by a spammer. The message is phishy.
That said; It seems the person was honest all the time. Even when he told you "off hours".
-Nothing should be done.
Maybe I don't mind this spammer getting the word out. Though it is shameless. Perhaps I will pick up one of those degrees. (through a different link) Obviously, companies do default to a higher pay scale on what is an APPARENT measure of skill.
If this is a true story it's an example of how inaccurate our corporate measurements of worth and value are.
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