Can I Lose My Job If I File for Bankruptcy?
If you have been struggling for quite some time to pay bills, you may be considering bankruptcy. Bankruptcy comes with some benefits. It allows you to start over with a clean slate. You’ll be less stressed by all your financial obligations. You’ll no longer be harassed by creditors.
However, bankruptcy is not all sunshine and rainbows. There are some things you should be concerned about. For example, your credit score will be affected. You won’t be able to use credit cards or get a loan for at least a few years. What if you’re employed? Will you lose your job by filing for bankruptcy?
Legally, no. 11 U.S. Code § 525 makes it illegal for the government or a private employer to discriminate against an employee. They cannot fire, demote, reprimand, deny an employee a promotion or discipline the person in any other way solely because they filed for bankruptcy.
If you have a professional license, such as one needed for a doctor, lawyer or pharmacist, or are in the process of getting one, you cannot be discriminated against. You cannot lose your license or be denied one because of a bankruptcy filing. However, there are exceptions. Many licensed professionals are required to meet moral or character-based standards. Therefore, financial issues could be frowned upon by the licensing board.
So while it may seem like your job would be protected in the event of a bankruptcy, the issue is that you would have to prove that your employer laid you off simply because of your bankruptcy filing. People can be fired for a variety of reasons, and your employer could still make an employment decision based on events that occurred before you filed for bankruptcy. For example, if you work in the financial field or handle money as part of your job, your employer may not be too happy about the fact that you haven’t been paying your bills on time, your car was repossessed or you have been sued by a creditor.
But what if you don’t have a job and plan to get one in the near future? Can you be denied employment due to a bankruptcy? Interestingly, Section 525 makes it illegal for government entities to deny employment to those who have filed for bankruptcy. Private employers, however, are not prohibited from denying employment to an applicant who has filed for bankruptcy. In any case, if you fill out a job application that asks “Have you ever filed a bankruptcy case?,” you should be honest. Otherwise, you could be fired later on for lying.
Contact a Coral Springs Bankruptcy Attorney
Bankruptcy can be a scary situation, especially if you think your job may be at risk. You don’t want to lose your income and still end up in a poor financial situation.
The Coral Springs bankruptcy attorneys at the Law Offices of Barry S. Mittelberg, P.A. can assess your financial situation. He can guide you through the bankruptcy process and address your concerns. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at (954) 752-1213.