Firing employee is stressful, and it’s even more stressful when you fire an employee with no legal ground. Employers may not agree with an employee’s lifestyle choices, but this doesn’t mean that an employee can be fired for what they do outside of work.
If an employee is cited for a DUI outside of work, employers may fire the employee in most circumstances.
Work At-Will in the US
Employees are conducting work on what’s called a “work at will” basis. What this means is that the employee can be fired at any time. But exceptions do exist within this law. There are certain reasons that an employee cannot be fired.
The law protects employees from being fired over race, skin color or because they’re injured and file workers’ compensation claims.
Exemptions are not in place for a DUI, but it depends on the state where the person is employed. State laws may prohibit the firing of employees due to their off-duty activities.
Arrest records also fall under different circumstances. In this case, the person was arrested, and criminal records were created as a result.
Let’s assume that your job requires you to drive, and perhaps it’s your duty to drive only once or twice per week. The employer can fire you in this case, regardless of state laws. You no longer meet your job description and cannot fulfill your duties.
Courts may find that the conviction is job-related, and the reason for this is that you’re required to drive a vehicle for your job.
Employers are well within their legal right to fire an employee who can no longer fit their job role. If an employee is injured on the job, this may be invalid. In this case, the employer will try to find a role that the employee can fit before firing.
Fighting against a conviction is also possible and important. There are 40 different medical conditions which can cause alcohol levels to rise even when intoxication is not the cause. If you failed the field sobriety test and know that you were not intoxicated, it’s the employee’s right to fight the charges against the employee.
If the conviction is erroneous, the employee can fight it.
A lawyer may be able to get the charges dismissed and help collect damages if the employee was fired from their job.
Wrongful termination is serious, and if an employer is found to wrongfully terminate an employee, they can be held accountable in a lawsuit. Wrongful termination must be the firing of an employee for illegal reasons.
Let’s assume that you were cited with a DUI, and you didn’t show up to work for five days. The employer can fire you if you failed to call out of work. An employee may also have a bad work record, coming to the office late every day. In this case, the employer may fire the employee at any time.
It’s difficult to prove that a termination was related to a DUI in many cases because an employer may state that the employee was late to work, didn’t fulfill their duties or had a poor work ethic.