The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals which governs the State of Florida, recently ruled on May 17, 2011 in the case of Myers v. TooJay’s Management Corp. that private employers can legally deny employment to applicants if they filed for bankruptcy. In doing so, our Circuit is now consistent with similar rulings in the 3rd and 5th Circuits.
However, anyone who is trying to decide whether to file bankruptcy when they are job hunting should keep in mind that prospective employers will pull credit reports. Many employers will rescind offers of employment or refuse to hire a person merely because of a bad payment history. Any delinquent payments could equally affect an employment decision. Refusal to hire someone due to his or her credit history is not by itself unlawful (there may be a limitation as to whether or not a credit report may be pulled if the prospect has not signed an authorization to do so).
In fact, some employers would prefer that a prospective employee has discharged their debts. Many employers would rather not deal with creditors calling its employees during work hours on the job and don’t want the administrative headaches associated with processing wage garnishments. These employers would rather hire someone who is debt-free, instead of someone who has debt problems.