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Bankruptcy bias: Handle deadbeat applicants carefully

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in Human Resources

Don't refuse to hire applicants, and don't fire current employees, solely because they've filed for bankruptcy. The U.S. Bankruptcy Code bars such discrimination.

However, you can consider an applicant's overall financial history as part of the selection process, particularly for jobs requiring financial responsibility.

This issue will get hotter. Reason: The number of personal bankruptcies is expected to jump 20 percent this year, in part because Congress is likely to tighten bankruptcy requirements.

To avoid trouble, order credit checks only for job openings in which a bad credit background can impact performance. Make it plain in writing that you may obtain the report; then have the employee sign the form.

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