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Employers & DUI Background Checks

If a person receives a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) or even gets a charge for impaired driving that doesn’t result in a conviction, it can adversely affect his or her career.

It is even more grave and has an even deeper impact if the individual has a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or is required to drive as part of their job. If you recently got arrested for DUI, it’s also important to get bail bonds at your earliest convenience so that you can be released from jail.

Employers can choose to conduct background checks on both current and prospective employees for a number of reasons if they so choose. Sometimes, those reasons are valid and legal, while other times, the employer may just decide to do a background check on a specific person for any reason at all. A DUI charge or conviction can be exposed as a result of a background check, depending on how it is conducted. However, there are limits on an employer’s ability to conduct these checks and on whether or not an offense should be a factor in determining whether to hire a person for a job. Generally, these limits are governed by laws within the state.

Background Checks and Federal Restrictions

All states in the United States have to keep with the provisions of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). These provisions generally apply to background checks when they are performed outside of companies but don’t apply to those that are conducted in-house by a company itself. The FCRA does not allow the reporting of criminal arrests after seven years. However, if a criminal conviction is involved, the FCRA will allow them to be reported indefinitely, including those involving DUI. Additionally, the FCRA’s restrictions only apply to jobs that carry annual salaries of $75,000 or less.

At the same time, according to federal courts, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from refusing to hire people with convictions unless they can prove there is a specific business reason to do so. In some cases, the interpretation of the Civil Rights Act can lead to conflict with certain state laws. Of course, on top of this, the majority of applicants do not have any knowledge of what goes on after they apply for a job.

Background Checks and State Laws that Govern Them

In general, most states allow employers to refuse to hire a person with a conviction record. Additionally, many state laws also allow employers to refuse to hire applicants who have been arrested, although that is mainly due to the lack of regulations in that area. At this point, at least 14 states have certain legal standards that require an employer to prove that the individual being hired would have some relevance to the job if they were hired. States that fall under these standards include Colorado, Florida, Kansas and New York, while Hawaii, Kansas, New York and Wisconsin also apply those regulations to private employers.

On the other hand, California and several other states provide certificates of rehabilitation to individuals who have been convicted of DUI and other crimes to allow them to find employment. As per California Labor Code 432.7, employers are prohibited from asking about an arrest that didn’t result in a conviction. Additionally, if a person is successful at completing probation for a DUI in that state, they can file a motion to withdraw a guilty plea, which would show in your records that the case against you was dismissed.

Most states require background checks for applicants of certain kinds of jobs, such as those that require working with children, disabled people and the elderly. While that doesn’t mean a person with a DUI conviction is automatically disqualified from one of those jobs, it is considered a character flaw. However, commercial drivers who have a DUI while on the job or while operating their own vehicle are prohibited from driving in a professional capacity for a specific time frame.

How are Background Checks Conducted?

There are around 20 types of information included in a background check, such as driving records, vehicle registration, criminal records, court records and more. Sometimes, this information is acquired from pre-employment questionnaires or an employment application. Many questions about whether a person has committed a felony are limited, but in other states, there may be more details questions.

Generally, it’s always better to tell the truth, especially when the truth can ultimately be uncovered. The Internet is a good place to discover information that can uncover background checks on prospective employees, including social networking websites.

How to Clear Your DUI Record

Depending on state regulations, it may be possible to have your record expunged if you’ve had a DUI conviction. This is something that seals your arrest record or criminal conviction through the court.

If you have experienced difficulty in securing employment due to your history of DUI and background checks, you will want to speak to an experienced attorney

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