It goes without saying that people in need of bankruptcy protection are usually living on a very tight budget. They are barely making enough money to pay their day to day living expenses. Many, in fact, are not able to pay for a place to live or food to eat. It follows, naturally, that they are very concerned about keeping their jobs. Many of the people who come to see me concerning potential bankruptcy ask if they will be fired if they file for bankruptcy and their employer learns that they have done so. Although there are exceptions to every rule, the answer is almost always that their jobs will be safe. This is true for several reasons.
First, the great majority of employers will not even know that their employee has filed for bankruptcy protection. Although bankruptcy filings are a public record, most employers simply don’t have the time or interest in checking these records. The employee won’t look or act any different (other than perhaps being under much less stress) and as long as he is doing his job there will be no cause for concern.
Second, there are laws in place to prevent employers from treating an employee in a discriminatory manner because he or she has sought bankruptcy protection. No employer can fire you because you filed for bankruptcy. Likewise, an employer can’t treat you differently in other terms of employment. The employer cannot lower your salary, demote you, or treat you differently in any way because of your bankruptcy. This does not meant that an employer can’t fire you for some other valid reason but it can’t be because of your bankruptcy filing alone.
Finally, the truth is that most people become better employees after obtaining bankruptcy protection. They sleep better, are under less stress and are able to focus more fully upon their jobs. Creditors are no longer calling the employee asking about past due bills so the employee’s full attention is on her responsibilities at work.
If you are uncertain as to whether bankruptcy is appropriate for you, you should schedule an appointment with an experiences attorney who you can trust. Talk to the attorney about employment issues and any other concerns that you have. Our offices are conveniently located and we offer a free confidential consultation with an experienced attorney. If we can be of assistance, please feel free to call our office closest to you..
Brad Botes is a principal of each of the Bond & Botes Law Offices throughout Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of North Alabama, and a Juris Doctorate from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. He and his team of bankruptcy lawyers have spent over 30 years guiding people through financial challenges. Read his full bio here.