Does Bankruptcy Affect Your Job Prospects?
Bankruptcy comes with the chance to start over financially and can be invaluable for that reason. However, this opportunity to depart from debt comes with certain consequences as does every decision in life and one of the most relevant questions for anyone who is debating filing is exactly how bankruptcy may affect job opportunities both now and going forward.
Can My Current Employer Fire Me for Filing?
Generally speaking, no. In America, no company is legally allowed to fire you just because you filed for bankruptcy due to the protections of federal employee discrimination laws. That means that even if your employer finds out about your bankruptcy filing, your employer can’t just let you go. In most situations, filing for bankruptcy won’t affect your current employment whatsoever. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways in which bankruptcy can impact your job search when you are trying to change positions.
Understanding How Bankruptcy Can Affect Future Employment
Preparing for the job application process is stressful enough without factoring in how bankruptcy could affect your prospects. It already involves refreshing a resume and dusting off references to maximize chances of standing out from other candidates. In addition, it seems like more and more employers are taking a look at the credit of job applicants with each passing year, especially for jobs that require you to handle money or that have a higher confidentiality requirement. One report published by the National Association of Background Screeners indicates that 31 percent of employers ran credit checks on some applicants while 16 percent admittedly checked all applicants’ credit. Perhaps most stressful, many of these background screenings occurred after a conditional job offer had already been made. This is why it is so critical to prepare in advance for how to handle discussing your bankruptcy with a potential employer if necessary.
Preparing for Pursuing New Employment Post-Bankruptcy
You shouldn’t be ashamed if you have filed for bankruptcy. Many Americans have struggled with debt and problems related to their credit – maybe even the person you end up sitting across from and being interviewed for a job by. If you declared bankruptcy in the past, you should go into your job search with your chin up. You should also be prepared for the possibility that the bankruptcy issue may come up during the application process and think about how you could explain to a potential employer your reasons for filing. If you find yourself having to have this conversation:
- Remain calm, rational, and unemotional
- Be as straightforward as possible and don’t overshare unnecessary details
- Explain as concisely as possible the circumstances leading to your bankruptcy
- State how you have changed and learned following the experience
- Answer any questions matter-of-factly
- End by circling back to the credentials you bring to the job
Are You Wondering How Bankruptcy Could Affect Your Job Prospects?
If you are concerned about how your employment opportunities may be affected once you file for bankruptcy, you should contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney. The right legal team can advise you on how bankruptcy may affect your employment opportunities and can help you weigh your options and decide the best route for you to take in regards to your finances. As the Plantation bankruptcy attorneys at Nowack & Olson, PLLC, we have over 40 years of combined experience building the knowledge and resources you can rely on for the success of your bankruptcy. The sooner you reach out for a complimentary consultation, the sooner all of the other parts can fall into place toward rebuilding your financial future.