Does a DUI Affect Employment?
In Pennsylvania, the law of “at-will employment” applies. This means that the employer can terminate an employee for any reasons permitted under the law. Consequently, even if you are merely facing an accusation from the state about a DUI offense, your employer is free to remove you from the job.
In fact, even if you eventually get acquitted or the charges are dropped, the employer is still under no legal obligation to hire you back. Things get more complicated for your future employment if you are convicted of DUI because most employers may not want to hire someone with a past DUI conviction.
Some Types of Jobs may have More Restrictions for DUI Offenders
If you are a commercial truck driver, delivery van driver, ridesharing cab driver, you are more likely to face career challenges following a DUI conviction in PA. Both federal and state laws, apart from the employer’s own discretion, may work against you in these cases. Even if driving is only a small part of your job, it may create trouble for you and your employer if your driver’s license is suspended or you face insurance issues.
Teachers and other school staff in Pennsylvania are required by law to disclose any past DUI conviction when they apply for a school job. Unless this type of a case is handled skillfully by a DUI attorney, you could face career challenges. Moreover, individuals whose employment involves professional license (example: pilots, doctors, or realtors) could face a revocation or suspension of their professional license following a DUI conviction in PA.
Will a DUI Show Up on a Background Check?
Most employers in Pennsylvania make it a part of their job application to ask whether you were criminally convicted in the past. This limits your scope you avoid disclosing your prior DUI anyway because if the employer specifically asks, you would have to make a false claim to hide your DUI, which is never a prudent thing to do considering long-term career stakes.
More importantly, your employer would most likely conduct a background check on your criminal history – and prior DUI conviction will show up. If the employer hires a third party to conduct background screening on you, the FCRA (federal law) requires them to notify you of their intent to conduct this check.
A first-offense DUI in Pennsylvania is a misdemeanor. The state law says that employers in Pennsylvania may consider a misdemeanor conviction while assessing a job applicant’s criminal history. But importantly, the conviction must only be considered to the extent that it affects the candidate’s ability to perform the job (“suitability of employment”).
Can I Get My DUI Record Expunged?
Under Pennsylvania law, following a DUI arrest and conviction, if you complete the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program according to the terms and conditions, you are eligible to have your DUI record expunged. Once the record of DUI arrest and conviction has been expunged, it will not show up on the background check that an employer may conduct.
Get Strong Legal Representation to Protect Your Rights
DUI offenses in Pennsylvania can have far-reaching consequences for your life. A DUI can affect your employment, relationships, and finances. We encourage you to get in touch with us as soon as possible after an arrest. At the Law Offices of Basil D. Beck III, our DUI lawyers in Greater Philadelphia have a deep understanding of the state law. We will fight your charges aggressively to help you achieve the best possible outcome. To know your legal options, request a free consultation by calling us at 610-239-8870 today.