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Employers may not discriminate because of bankruptcy

Workplace discrimination can take many forms, some of them more surprising than others. When we think of workplace discrimination, we generally think of sexual harassment from a superior, or an employer who does not respect the race or religion of an employee.

However, some employers or potential employers also take an improper interest in an employee's or applicant's personal finances, especially when it comes to bankruptcy proceedings. If you worry that a bankruptcy procedure may adversely affect your career, or suspect that an employer already discriminates against you because of bankruptcy, you need to seek proper legal guidance immediately.

In broad strokes, discrimination of any kind because of bankruptcy is not legal. Bankruptcy is a constitutionally protected right of citizens, and one that the courts take very seriously. However, in an age where employers look at credit scores during the hiring process, it is easy to see how a bankruptcy could be a contributing factor to unfairly losing a job opportunity.

Still, whether you are applying for work or already employed in either the private or government sectors, bankruptcy should not affect your professional life.

The same anti-discrimination laws also protect your ability to acquire and retain licenses. A landmark case in this area determined in the 1970s that a state could not withhold a driver's license from an individual because of outstanding court fees he had discharged through bankruptcy. In this case, the matter went all the way to the Supreme Court.

If you have anxiety about a bankruptcy procedure, you are not alone. The process is often stressful, but proper guidance can help alleviate that stress. With legal guidance from an experienced attorney, you can ensure that your rights remain secure as you walk through this difficult season and fight unfair discrimination.

Source: findlaw, "Bankruptcy and Discrimination," accessed May 26, 2017

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