Does Your Employer Care About Your DUI Conviction?

Posted by James Ferguson | Apr 01, 2019 | 0 Comments

Your DUI charge or conviction may be subject to self-disclosure or come to bear as the result of a background check. Generally speaking, an employer has the right to ask a job applicant or a current employee to disclose his or her criminal history. Similarly, as a condition of job maintenance or as a requirement of a job application, an employer may request the employee (or job applicant) to submit to a criminal history check. The results of these investigations may have an effect on employment and the outcome of a job application. However, the employer does not have a full and unconditional right to use your DUI charge or conviction against you. There are certain confines the employer must stay within to make a lawful decision.

What can an Employer Ask the Employee or Job Applicant?
An employer has the discretion to make inquiry into an employee or applicant's criminal background. The more job-related the conviction is, the less likely the individual will see a favorable outcome. For example, an individual seeking a job as a truck driver will have more to answer for with a DUI conviction. In addition, job applicants usually face more scrutiny than current employees. Employers, especially private employers, have the right to ask the employee or applicant to list any convictions, charges, and arrests. Some even go as far as asking for details on a crime that has been expunged. Secondarily, the employer does not have to rely on the employee's disclosure. They can conduct a background check to get to the source.

To What Extent can an Employer Use Your DUI Conviction or Charge?
There are no federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on one's criminal record. Nevertheless, there are some limitations as to how much a criminal record may be considered. Many states, including Mississippi, have enacted laws restricting the extent a conviction or charge can be used. Many of these laws protect public and government employees. These types of laws prohibit public employers from denying employment to an applicant on the sole basis of a prior conviction. In order to lawfully do so, there needs to be a “reasonable relationship” between the conviction and the employment sought. Needless to say, private employers seem to have more latitude on their hiring decisions. Notably, Mississippi's law on the issue does not seem to address many limitations. The only limitation in Mississippi is that an employer can not require an employee to disclose a conviction that has been expunged.

Legal Recourse for Discriminatory Treatment
Employees and job applicant who have been the subject of discrimination based on their past DUI conviction can file a Title VII anti-discrimination lawsuit. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has published guidelines addressing criminal conviction discrimination. They can also contact their respective state employment apparatus to seek some sort of administration redress.

Your DUI Attorney
If you have been discriminated against based on a past DUI conviction call James Robert Ferguson. Attorney James Robert Ferguson is an experienced DUI attorney with years of experience defending DUI cases. Driving Under the Influence is a serious crime. If you have been charged with DUI, you need an experienced attorney. Attorney Ferguson is well-versed is DUI defense strategies tailored to your unique case. Attorney Ferguson understands the importance of putting the charge behind you. Call us now for a consultation.

See related blog posts:
Your DUI Charge and Your Job
What to Do if Stopped by Police

About the Author

James Ferguson

I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. During college, I studied at East Tennessee State University, where I received a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice, which I then followed up with a Master's in Criminology from the University of Memphis. Before beginning my legal career, I worked as a Project Coordinator at the University of Memphis, where I assisted in training law enforcement officers in the Memphis Model of Crisis Intervention Training. The purpose of the project was to provide officers with the tools to deal with citizens in a state of mental crisis. I then went on to study law at the Mississippi College School of Law in Jackson. During law school, I clerked with Victor W. Carmody, Jr., the lawyer who wrote the book on DUI law in Mississippi. I am currently licensed to practice law in both Tennessee and Mississippi, and spend a majority of my time traveling the highways and biways of Mississippi defending those who have been charged with a DUI.


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