CanI be denied a job based on a bankruptcy and judgmentnoted on my credit report?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2010

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CanI be denied a job based on a bankruptcy and judgmentnoted on my credit report?

Recently denied a job based on bankruptcy and judgment on credit report. Specifically asked about bankruptcy details: “I can present his case to my supervisor but first I’m going to need a current statement(s) to confirm the current balance of the bankruptcy and history of payments from” Of the criminal background and credit check the following was all that was mentioned: CREDIT: Civil Judgment Entered 2/2009 $9,000; Ch. 13 Bankruptcy entered 3/2009 $390,993. Decision was: We have reviewed your application and regret we are unable to appoint you. Can they do that? Isn’t there protection for discriminatory treatment?

Asked on October 1, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I'm afraid that you have no legal recourse here for employment discrimination.  The reason is that most employment relationships are what is known as "at will"; meaning that you can choose to work for an employer or not and an employer can hire or fire you for any reason or no reason.  While seemingly unfair such action is perfectly permissible under the law.

The exceptions to the foregoing would be if this action violated official company policy, a union agreemnt, or if discrimination was a factor.  However, workplace discrimination has to do with unfair treatment based on your being in what is known as a "protected class". For example, if  you were discriminated against due to your race, religion, national origin, gender, and like classes. Unfortunately, having filed for bankruptcy does not afford you protection under the law insofar as employment is concerned (ie it is not a protected class).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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