Scanlon Fights to Protect Bankruptcy Filers From Employment Discrimination with New Bill

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05) introduced the Ending Bankruptcy Discrimination Act of 2020 to protect bankruptcy filers from employment discrimination, a bill co-sponsored by House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (NY-10) and Congressman David Cicilline (RI-01).

As COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly throughout the country, Americans face a multitude of economic crises, including the prospect of a tidal wave of bankruptcies.

Currently, private employers have the right to refuse employment to individuals who have filed for bankruptcy relief. While prospective government employees are protected from this form of discrimination, ambiguity in Section 525 of the U.S. bankruptcy code has left the courts to decide with respect to the private sector, resulting in these employers being allowed to refuse employment based on current or past bankruptcy status.

“As we navigate the challenges presented by the global health and economic crisis, we cannot allow private employers to discriminate based on bankruptcy status,” Congresswoman Scanlon said. “We must do everything we can to ensure our families are not prevented from accessing employment.”

The Ending Bankruptcy Discrimination Act of 2020 will clarify that private employees are protected from discrimination based on their current and/or past bankruptcy status, extending the same rights afforded to prospective government employees to individuals in the private sector.

This critical legislation is endorsed by the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA).

A copy of the bill can be found here: https://scanlon.house.gov/UploadedFiles/Ending_Bankruptcy_Discrimination_Act_of_2020.pdf

Mary Gay Scanlon currently serves a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District.