Your finances are a private matter and it is important to keep it that way. Although your filing will become part of the public record, it is not public in the way that you may at first think. Your filing is not typically published in the newspaper (unless for some reason it was newsworthy), or broadcast on the Internet or radio. This does not mean that the information is invisible from your employer’s eyes. It just means that unless an employer has some reason to believe that you filed bankruptcy and is actively attempting to find out if you filed, it is very unlikely that they would know that you filed such a legal proceeding.
Will My Employer Find Out that I Filed Bankruptcy in San Diego?
So you still want to know, “will my employer find out that I filed bankruptcy in San Diego?” The short answer, is that it is highly unlikely. There are three principal ways that employers could normally come to learn of an employee’s San Diego bankruptcy filing.
The first way is if your lawyer lists the employer as a creditor in your petition and schedules which form the basis of the list of creditors that receive notice of the filing. All creditors listed are notified of your filing. Creditors who are not listed are not notified. Assuming that an employer is not listed as a creditor (usually your employer is not going to be a creditor), then they will not receive notice of your filing. If your employer is a creditor, discuss your options with your attorney before your case is filed.
The second way that an employer could learn about your filing is if the employer is checking your credit report on a regular basis and sees your filing show up as a public record on your credit report. The only way that someone can legally check your credit report is if you gave them advance permission to check your credit report in the future. Since, in most cases, employees do not give their employer permission to check their credit report in the future, it is unlikely that the employer will be checking your credit report in the future and discover your filing.
The third way that a filing could typically be discovered is if your employer, for some reason, was actively investigating to determine if you had filed. Any San Diego bankruptcy attorney with access to the Federal Court electronic records (or non-attorney with such access) can search a person’s name on the court’s electronic records and in such a search your filing would show up. But most employers are not searching the court’s electronic records.
Also, you need not worry, your employer won’t see your bankruptcy filing in the latest issue of the newspaper that he or she just picked up, nor will he or she be able to do a Google search and see your case filing, at least not as of the time of the posting of this blog. If a significant amount of time has passed between the posting of this blog and the time that you are reading it, you should confirm with a San Diego bankruptcy lawyer that Federal court filings still are not showing up on a Google internet search.
In order to discover your filing through the internet, the search typically would need to be done by a San Diego bankruptcy attorney or other person with access to the Federal Court electronic records and possess the ability and knowhow to do an effective and proper search within the court’s electronic records system.
Finally, even if your employer were to somehow find out about your filing, Federal law, specifically the Bankruptcy Code, protects you from “discriminatory treatment” (such as attempting to fire you from your job) simply because you filed for bankruptcy relief.