Do I have to disclose a termination from 11 years ago?

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I am applying for a supervisors city job and on their application it’s asking if I have ever been terminated from a position. Yes, I have but that happened in 2003 and I have been fully employed ever since. Their application is asking for the last 10 years of employment history. Since this termination occurred 11 years ago do I need to disclose this on the new job application?

What a fabulous question. I’m going to totally overthink it, though (which is what you’re doing as well).

 Technically, they are asking if you’ve “ever” been terminated from a job, which covers your whole life, including when the neighbor fired you for accidentally mowing down her prize begonias w hen you were supposed to be mowing her lawn.
However, no one cares about that. And I’d argue that they don’t care about a termination 11 years ago, especially since they are asking for 10 years worth of job history.
So, my point is, I’d feel pretty safe about not mentioning the termination, although I ‘d feel guilty about it. I feel guilty about everything though.
I presume the job from which you were fired is not listed on you resume or application at all. If it was, then you need to list it. Additionally, if it was for another government entity with a connected employee database, they’ll be able to find you in their system, so you don’t want to do that.
But, honestly, even if you listed it, any sane person wouldn’t consider it because you’ve been employed for the past 10 years without being terminated.

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