Burnett v. Stewart Title, Inc. (In re Burnett)
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
635 F.3d 169 (2011)
Shani Burnett (plaintiff) filed a chapter 13 bankruptcy petition in September of 2006. In July of 2007, Burnett interviewed for a job at Stewart Title, Inc. (Stewart) (defendant). Stewart made Burnett a job offer that was contingent on the results of a drug test and a background check. Stewart subsequently rescinded Burnett’s offer because the background check revealed Burnett’s bankruptcy filing. Burnett sued Stewart in federal bankruptcy court, alleging that Stewart had unlawfully discriminated against her because of her bankruptcy status in violation of 11 U.S.C. § 525(b). Stewart moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim, and the bankruptcy court granted the motion, concluding that § 525(b) does not prohibit private employers from refusing to hire a job applicant based on the applicant’s bankruptcy status. The federal district court affirmed the dismissal, and Burnett appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (King, J.)
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