Will my boss find out about my bankruptcy? That is the burning question everyone who comes to my office for the free consultation asks. This is always a concern for anyone filing a chapter 7 . In a chapter 13 the pay order guarantees that someone at work, probably in payroll, will find out.
In any consumer petition you list the employer’s name and address in Schedule I. The employer is NOT notified by the court of your case. The only way in a chapter 7 your boss will ever find out is if you tell him. If you don’t want him to know, keep quiet.
Why are you afraid your boss will find out? The simple answer is fear:
- I am still on probation
- I am a manager
- I am responsible for client accounts
- Money is part of my responsibility
- It’s embarrassing
- None of his business
- People get fired for filing a bankruptcy
Do you think your money problems are a mystery to your supervisor or boss? Has anyone you know ever been fired for filing bankruptcy? Didn’t think so.
Let me tell you about a recent conversation with my wife. I am married to a Senior Manager with a multinational corporation. She manages people in a division as well as being involved in marketing. One day I was at home talking about a client who was in desperate fear of his boss discovering he will file for bankruptcy. He just knew he would be fired. She added that if she ever filed she would be fired immediately.
I guess I spent too many years in the trenches of trial law. I pounced like a cat stalking a witness on the stand. I said that simply is not possible. She replied: “Because they looked at my credit, in my background check when they hired me, I think that if my credit score drops they will fire me.” I wanted to know if she has ever fired anyone for this, or if she knew of anyone fired for filing bankruptcy. The response: “no”. Now just why am I so sure about this? Because…
The U.S. Code Prohibits Discrimination Against An Employee For Filing Bankruptcy
This law protects you when:
- You are going through, or you have gone through a proceeding
- You are insolvent before filing or
- You are insolvent while your bankruptcy petition is pending before the court;
- You have not paid debt which is dischargeable.
So now you too know why your employer can take no action against you for filing, or for being in a bankruptcy proceeding. Regular, employees working without a contract are called, “at will” employees. That means if you can quit for any or no reason, you may be fired on the same basis so long as it does not violate a law or a public policy. “At will” employees are specifically covered by this law.
I asked you before if you thought your money problems were a mystery to your boss. Ever get a collection call at work? They normally all call at some point. Been garnished? What happens when they do? Does someone from the front office tell you to make it stop? Filing for bankruptcy will make it stop. This will make you happy, and your boss happier.
Graphic from iStockPhoto.com.