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Dont Discriminate Against Debtors Seeking A Job According to Latest ABI Quick Poll

Contact: John Hartgen
             [email protected]



July 15, 2011, Alexandria, Va.— A majority (66 percent) of respondents to ABI’s latest Quick Poll said the Bankruptcy Code should be interpreted to prevent private employers from discrimination in hiring based on an applicant’s prior bankruptcy. Fifty percent “strongly agreed” and 16 percent “somewhat agreed” that § 525(b) of the Code should be read to prevent private employers from denying employment based on an applicant’s bankruptcy.
Section 525(b) provides that “no private employer may terminate the employment of, or discriminate with respect to employment against, an individual who is or has been a debtor under this title, a debtor or bankrupt under the Bankruptcy Act, or an individual associated with such debtor or bankrupt, solely because such debtor or bankrupt.” A recent Federal Court of Appeals decision highlights the distinction between denying employment to an individual based on prior bankruptcy filing and terminating the individual’s employment. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held on May 17 that although government employers may not deny employment to an individual who has filed for bankruptcy protection, that prohibition does not apply to private employers. 
Thirty-two percent of respondents disagreed that § 525(b) of the Bankruptcy Code should be interpreted by the courts to prevent private employers from discrimination in hiring based on an applicant’s bankruptcy. Two percent did not know or had no opinion on the issue.
ABI’s Quick Poll is posted on ABI’s home page, ABI members and the public are invited to respond to a question on a timely bankruptcy or insolvency issue. Visit to access the results of previous ABI Quick Polls. 


ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes over 13,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit For additional conference information, visit