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

Answers:

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

Answered 10 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).


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