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How does a DUI affect your employment?

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2021 | Criminal Defense

You have a lot to think about after New Jersey police arrested you for drunk driving. For instance, should you worry about losing your job after your charge?

Chron explores how DUIs affect a person’s employment. Determine what steps to take to protect your current job and future employment opportunities.

State law

Under the “Opportunity to Compete Act” in New Jersey, companies cannot dismiss job candidates because of a conviction if the conviction does not relate to the position. Under the act, employers cannot ask about a person’s criminal history until after the initial interview. In some states, workers with convictions may perform rehabilitative measures to “wipe away” the conviction.

Federal law

Under federal law, companies cannot dismiss job applicants for having a drunk driving charge without a viable reason. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, a DUI conviction may remain on a person’s criminal background for seven years and on a criminal report for the rest of a person’s life.

Transportation jobs

If your current job duties involve driving a vehicle or if you work in the transportation sector, your company may terminate you if they think the decision makes sound business sense. Your employer may not want to risk increased insurance premiums for allowing an employee with a DUI to operate a vehicle. Rather than firing you, your employer may also give you new duties unrelated to operating an aircraft, a watercraft or a motor vehicle.

At-will employment

Federal laws for job applicants with a drunk driving charge do not extend to hired employees with a DUI. That means at-will employees may lose their positions if the company learns of their conviction.

Whether your DUI affects your job depends on a variety of factors. With sound knowledge, you know how to navigate your career and opportunities.