Can bankruptcy cost you a job?
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If you’re searching for a job and are also considering Greensboro bankruptcy, you might wonder if it will affect your employment opportunities. Today we take a look at how the Federal law addresses discriminating against job applicants that have filed bankruptcy and how filing could impact your job search. The first thing to know is that it is technically illegal for employers to refuse to hire you or decide to fire you simply because you filed bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy discrimination is illegal
Congress passed a law in 1978 barring discrimination, termination, or refusal to hire against federal employers due to a bankruptcy filing. In 1984, Congress went back to the legislation and roped private employers into this mandate. That means that no employer “should” take you out of contention for a job because you chose to file bankruptcy. There’s also the question of how a potential employer would even know you filed bankruptcy.
Your employer cannot (or rather should not) ask whether you’ve filed bankruptcy in the past as part of your application or screening process for a job. Greensboro bankruptcy is a matter of public record, but those records aren’t easy to get to or on a website you can just pop onto and read. Bankruptcy case information is available on a secured website, run by the government, and you must apply to access the records. You must have a legitimate purpose, register, then pay for the privilege of accessing the info.
Credit checks give away lots of information
If you apply for a Greensboro job and a credit check is required, your bankruptcy will be listed on your report. Employers don’t get a full copy of your credit report like you see if you order one. There are special versions that are used for job screening, so they don’t see all your details. For instance, they don’t get to see your credit score. A potential employer also cannot check your credit without your permission. Also, a pre-employment credit check will not lower your credit score.
However, the employer will see if you’re in debt and behind on your payments and they will know if you file bankruptcy. In many cases, employers are now requesting credit checks for positions that have no financial responsibility. Eleven states, but not North Carolina, have passed laws limiting the use of credit checks in pre-employment screenings. In general, these laws only allow employers to check credit for positions involving cash handling and other financial obligations.
Bankruptcy may help your job hunt
In some instances, filing bankruptcy can help your job hunt. If you work for the government or are in the military, having unmanageable debt can cost you an existing job, potential job, or your security clearance. However, a bankruptcy on your record to deal with this debt will not hurt you. In fact, it may be seen as preferential because it shows you took proactive steps to deal with the debt. Some employers might see it the same way.
If you know a potential employer will run a credit check and discover you filed bankruptcy, it may be best to address this up-front before they get the report. That way, you can explain why your finances went awry such as job loss, accident, illness, etc. and can reveal that you chose bankruptcy to get a clean financial start. Discussing your bankruptcy before the employer sees the report could be the difference between a job offer or a polite refusal of the opportunity.
If you feel that you were denied employment because of your bankruptcy filing, you may be able to pursue a discrimination case against that employer. Also remember that if you stayed in debt, rather than filed bankruptcy, the employer would have seen a worse looking credit report. To find out more about the benefits of bankruptcy, contact the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt. Read client reviews, then call 1-888-234-4181 to schedule a free Greensboro bankruptcy consultation at one of our locations in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, Wilson, Greensboro, Garner or Wilmington.