How Will Bankruptcy Affect My Job?
Filing for bankruptcy raises many considerations. One of the most important is whether or not bankruptcy affects your job. Many people delay filing for bankruptcy due to their concerns about losing their job or being judged in the workplace for their financial difficulties.
Although understandable, these concerns aren’t necessary.
Filing for bankruptcy is unlikely to affect your career.
For many, relieving the stress of financial challenges allows them to flourish in other areas of their lives, including their work.
Keep in mind, potential employers can consider your financial situation when determining whether or not to extend to you a job offer. This is particularly true when you work in a position in which you are responsible for handling money. But in many cases, employers view bankruptcy as a positive step toward repairing a challenging financial situation. Filing means you have taken action to fix your problems and that you’ve removed any temptation someone might experience when dealing with a financial crisis.
This isn’t to say that nobody will judge you for filing for bankruptcy. It might happen.
But will bankruptcy affect your job?
It all depends on your circumstances and with whom you share your decision to file. But it’s important to know the law protects you.
The US Bankruptcy Code contains an anti-discrimination section prohibiting employment discrimination based on your having filed for bankruptcy. Those applying for government jobs cannot legally be denied a job offer based on their bankruptcy status. The limits aren’t as strict for private employers, but most tend to consider more than just bankruptcy status when making hiring decisions.
You can read more about the US Bankruptcy Code here.
Financial Challenges Don’t Make You a Bad Employee
Employers also understand that many people experience financial difficulties due to circumstances beyond their control. In many cases, these difficulties lead to bankruptcy. Medical problems, as well as unemployment and divorce, are all common reasons for filing for bankruptcy. Credit card debt is just one of the reasons people opt for bankruptcy. In many cases, their credit card debt had nothing to do with irresponsible spending choices.
There is no reason to assume that someone filing for bankruptcy brought their financial challenges upon themselves. Employers know this and in most cases, they put far more emphasis on your qualifications and experience than they do you having filed for bankruptcy.
When Does Bankruptcy Have the Potential to Affect Your Career?
There are instances in which bankruptcy is more likely to have an impact on your professional situation. For example:
- If your job requires a security clearance, your decision to file for bankruptcy will be scrutinized. It’s unlikely you’ll lose an existing security clearance when you file. However, the Department of Defense will consider your reasons for filing, as well as whether filling makes you a blackmail risk.
- If your job requires licensure, you might be required to disclose your bankruptcy, but it’s unlikely your bankruptcy status will affect your ability to be granted a professional license. The bankruptcy code prohibits licensing discrimination based on bankruptcy.
- If you are responsible for an employer-issued credit card, your bankruptcy status could be an issue. Most company cards require the user to be a co-signer on the account. Even if your employer does not view you as a risk for using the card irresponsibly, there’s a chance your employer will need to make special arrangements with the card issuer.
The best thing you can do if you choose to file for bankruptcy and you have a company credit card or an employer or potential employer wants to issue you a card, is be honest about your bankruptcy status. It might be an uncomfortable conversation, but being evasive or dishonest causes
Filing for bankruptcy is not a justifiable cause to fire an employee. But this doesn’t mean that filing will be without its challenges. It’s important to consider all of these challenges before filing. You must understand that in many cases, filing for bankruptcy could still be worth it for you.
Contact an Attorney to Discuss Your Financial Situation
If you’d like to discuss the repercussions of filing for bankruptcy and how it could affect your job or you are ready to discuss your financial situation with someone who can help, contact the Law Office of Robert M. Geller at 813-254-5696 to learn more.