Filing For Bankruptcy As A Union Employee

It’s easy for financial setbacks that start as small issues to grow over time until they really spiral out of control. Medical bills, home and automobile repairs and expenses associated with growing children and aging parents can add up to debts that you can’t get out from under. Bankruptcy can be a very practical option for many people who want to start fresh with a clean financial slate, but if you are a union employe you may be wondering how this will affect your job. Can a union employer fire you if you file for bankruptcy? Or, can you get passed over for a union job or promotion due to bankruptcy?
If you are a union employee and are drowning in debt, contact Sirody & Associates, experienced bankruptcy attorneys, for a free consultation.

Union Employees Are Unique

For employees who are not unionized, the employer sets all of the rules pertaining to hours of work, wages and disciplinary measures. In contrast, union employees have contracts stipulating wages and terms of hiring, disciplinary action, termination, workplace safety, health insurance and vacation time – all determined as a result of collective bargaining on the part of their union. In some cases, unions that represent a large number of workers may be in a more advantageous negotiating position that just one worker alone.

Bankruptcy And Confidentiality

You may be wondering whether or not your union employer will find out about your bankruptcy filing. In truth, it is possible for an employer to find out about a bankruptcy filing, but only in a few special circumstances. Here are some examples of how an employer might learn of a bankruptcy filing:

  • You are paying your employer money owed. When you file for bankruptcy, you are required to list all of your debts, and this includes debts from paying back a payroll overpayment. In essence, if you owe your company money, they will likely find out if you file for bankruptcy.
  • Your employer has to stop a wage garnishment. If a wage garnishment is ordered against you, your employer will learn if you subsequently file for bankruptcy because they will receive a request to stop the wage garnishment payments.
  • Chapter 13 payments are automatically deducted from your paycheck. In some cases, the judge hearing your bankruptcy case may order Chapter 13 bankruptcy payments to be automatically deducted from your paycheck.

The Laws About Bankruptcy And Employment

Whether you are a union or non-union employee, the law states that no employer may fire you due to a bankruptcy filing. In addition, your employer may not change the conditions or terms of your employment due to a bankruptcy. Your employer cannot demote you, change your work responsibilities or reduce your salary because of a bankruptcy. However, if your employer has other legitimate grounds for termination, filing for bankruptcy will not protect your job. Some union employees have a security clearance as part of their job – in most cases, filing for bankruptcy will not affect a security clearance. It’s also important to note that union employers cannot use bankruptcy as a consideration when deciding whether or not to hire you.

Get Help From An Experienced Attorney

Filing for bankruptcy as a union employee can be a complicated and sometimes intimidating process. It’s important to find a skilled bankruptcy attorney who has experience assisting union employees. If bankruptcy is the best option for your particular situation, our experienced attorneys will guide you through the process and help you find financial freedom. Contact us online for a free consultation.