Can I Be Discriminated Against For Filing Bankruptcy?

worried woman using laptop at night
For many of us living in the Columbus, Ohio area, the fear of being treated differently because of a bankruptcy filing is very real. In fact, some of the most common reasons why people do not file bankruptcy are because:
  • They will lose all of their assets.
  • The bankruptcy petition will be challenged.
  • They fear they won’t be able to rebuild their credit
  • They will be discriminated against in their workplace if someone finds out they filed.
However, we at The Jones Law Firm want to alleviate your fears because these concerns are just that--especially the worry of discrimination. Under federal law, you cannot be discriminated against for filing bankruptcy. Here’s why.

Federal Protections Against Discrimination

Under provisions of the federal law established in the 1970s, it was ruled that a state could not deny a person a driver’s license because of an unpaid court judgment that had been discharged in a bankruptcy filing. The ruling in Perez v. Campbell prompted the U.S. Congress to enact more general prohibition against the government and private employer discrimination on the basis of bankruptcy. Since then, the following provisions have been enacted to prohibit employment discrimination against bankruptcy debtors including:
  • Terminating an employee;
  • Discriminating with respect to hiring
  • Denying, revoking, suspending, or declining to renew a license, franchise, or another privilege
  • Discriminating in regards to bankruptcy when giving a government grant
  • Discriminating by attaching a condition related to bankruptcy to a grant
Private employers are also not permitted to discriminate against employees because of their bankruptcy filing for the same reasons as governmental agencies. Bans against employment discrimination because of bankruptcy include:
  • Terminating an employee who has filed for bankruptcy protection
  • Discriminating against an employee who has filed for bankruptcy protection.

What isn’t considered discriminatory?

While there are forms of bankruptcy discrimination that are illegal, there are some seemingly discriminatory actions that are not actually illegal. Such actions include:
  • A landlord runs a credit check and, upon seeing your bankruptcy, refuses to rent to you.
  • A private employer refuses to hire you for poor credit history in a position that has a financial role
Unfortunately in these cases, there isn’t much you can do since the financial history is part of the position or housing you seek. But it doesn’t always have to be that way. In fact, the benefits of life after bankruptcy are numerous.

Don’t Let Fear Stop You From a Fresh Financial Future.

If you have concerns about being discriminated against in employment or housing, you need to contact a trusted bankruptcy attorney. We can help alleviate your fears and get you on the road to financial success. Don’t delay and contact The Jones Law Firm for a free consultation. With offices in Columbus, Ohio, The Jones Law Firm works with clients in and around Columbus and throughout central Ohio. Your financial future begins now.
Categories: General Bankruptcy