Can I sue my employers? 51 Answers as of March 06, 2012

My employers heard that I was given a ticket for DUI. I have not been convicted yet. They told me that if I get convicted I might lose my job. I am a delivery truck driver. Can I sue them if they dismiss me? What steps should I do to ensure that I do not get a conviction? This is my first offense.

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Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
You are probably not able to sue for losing your driving job due to a DUI conviction. You should hire a good DUI attorney.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 3/6/2012
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
Yes, your employer can fire you if you are convicted, because your job requires that you drive and you will loose your license if convicted. And no, you cannot sue your employer.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 3/5/2012
Klisz Law Office, PLLC
Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
No you cannot sue them. They have every right to terminate you if you are convicted (even if you are not). You need a top notch defense lawyer to assist you in the case.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/5/2012
Law Office of Michael R. Garber
Law Office of Michael R. Garber | Michael R. Garber
No, you can't sue your employer. You should talk to a lawyer about the specifics of your case. Some prosecutors have pretrial diversion programs that make it possible to avoid a conviction.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 3/5/2012
Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
You need to hire a lawyer to represent you on the DWI. There are also potential driver's license consequences which require you to request a hearing (most times) within 15 days of your arrest. As far as your job, you have no right to employment. You could be fired whether or not you were arrested, and whether or not you are convicted. Texas is an at-will employment state.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 3/5/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    No you can't sue them if they fire you upon a conviction. Having someone with a conviction drive could run up their insurance premiums.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/5/2012
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
    I'd advise you to retain a lawyer or request that the court appoint you a lawyer payable at the public's expense. You are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. You have a right to counsel. Speaking generally, employers may have grounds to terminate a person from their employment if they are "at will" for a litany of reasons regardless of whether a person is actually convicted of an offense. Simply being charged may suggest that the employee was engaged in certain risky behaviors that could place the company in legal harm if they continue to work there. If an employee is under contract, it's a little different. However, any traffic stop and pending charge is a huge issue for professional drivers. Convictions for traffic offenses, whether it's a civil infraction or misdemeanor, may result in termination from employment from those types of jobs and sanctions against professional driver's licenses like CDL's, etc. I'd advise you to retain a lawyer to assist you with this matter.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    I assume that you are not under a collective bargaining agreement. Therefore, you are an employee at will. If you get a DUI, then the fleet insurance and/or workers comp premium to the employer would increase, and you could be discharged. You could be discharged with or without cause. Therefore, the reason doesn't matter. You are not in a suspect class based on your assertion. Therefore, there is likely nothing you can do.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    Are you protected by a Union? if not then you are an at will employee and they can fire you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    Dungan, Lady, Kirkpatrick & Dungan PLLC | Michael Dungan
    You need to fight the drunk driving case if your job is at stake, particularly if you have a CDL. Generally, Michigan is an at will work state, you can quit anytime you want to, and they can fire you anytime they want to, for any reason they choose, as long as it is not over race, religion, gender, etc. It's pretty common for employers to fire drivers who are convicted of DUI, and if you have a CDL, you will lose it for one year.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    You need an experienced DWI attorney. Your boss can fire you unless there are written policies or a collective bargaining agreement otherwise.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    Salladay Law Office | Lance Salladay
    First- get an attorney. IF the conviction of a DUI adversely affects your employers insurance, or your ability to continue being a driver for his business he does have the right to terminate your employment. You could not sue him for that reason. You need to get an attorney to assist you in attempting to avoid a conviction for the DUI, but the success of that effort will depend on the facts of your case. There is nothing that will "ensure" your avoidance of a conviction, but an attorney can negotiate on your behalf in an effort to avoid the DUI.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    As a delivery driver you would not likely win a law suite, since they could claim that you were let go do to the cost of insurance. I fight these types of charges all the time, a lot depends on the nature of the charge and the test result. It also depends on where you were arrested.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    You should retain the services of an attorney to represent you in the OWI case. If having a valid driver's license is a condition of your employment and a conviction causes you to lose that license, your employer could discharge you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    The Law Offices of Victor J Mazzaraco
    The Law Offices of Victor J Mazzaraco | Victor J Mazzaraco
    No you cannot sue them, unless you have a written contract stating you won't be terminated even if you get a DUI. On a non-legal not, is there a possibility you could stay on with the company in a different capacity if you were to be convicted? The company is doing the prudent thing - nothing personal - by considering what steps it should take if a conviction happens. If you were to hit someone with a conviction for dui on your record they'd be liable big-time. At least there's a strong argument to make that they're culpable...so think of another position other than driver...and get a good attorney...it will be worth every penny to you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    You are innocent until proven guilty, but they will only fire you if you get convicted, so hire a good lawyer to maintain your livelihood.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    Hammerschmidt Broughton Law
    Hammerschmidt Broughton Law | Mark A. Broughton
    Several questions, and the bottom line is that you need to consult with a criminal defense attorney. If you are a driver with a special license there are different rules/laws/limits and consequences that apply. In most cases you need a valid driver's license to drive on the job so not having one may be grounds for dismissal. If you are a member of a union or a government employee you may have enforceable limitations on your employer being able to terminate you. So, the best way to evaluate and help you defend against all these ramifications of a DUI conviction is to hire a good lawyer!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    This is not a criminal law question. That said, you are most likely an "at will" employee and they are probably free to let you go just like you are free to quit. But an attorney would have to review your employment contract to know for sure. This is a very common collateral consequence of a DUI conviction. You need to get a good DUI attorney and see if there is any basis to fight the charge. It's impossible to give you an intelligent assessment of your case without knowing the details.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    Why would you be able to sue your employer? He can fire you for no reason at all if you are an employee at will, not a tenured teacher or union employee. He is responsible for your civil torts and therefore he is within his rights to fire you if you get a DWI. Employers are liable for millions and that is why you will have a hard time getting any job if convicted. Drinking and driving is like firing a gun at a moving train and hoping that no one gets hit by the bullets. You should know as a commercial driver that you will lose your license and have to pay a fortune for insurance. You should retain a good criminal law firm like mine to represent you and hope you can win the trial or you are going to have to find another job.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    McClendon Owens Melia McBreen LLP
    McClendon Owens Melia McBreen LLP | Richard L. McBreen III
    Most likely, your employer can fire you for a DUII charge or conviction. If you are an at-will employee, they can actually fire you for any reason they want that isn't protected by law. You will likely not be able to sue them if they fire you. Instead, I would suggest focusing your energy on beating the DUII charge, so that you are not convicted and can keep your job.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    You can always sue. Whether you can win depends on your employment contract. Have an attorney in employment law advise you on that. If you are going to fight a DUI you need a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    Law Office of Patrick E. Donovan, PLLC
    Law Office of Patrick E. Donovan, PLLC | Patrick E. Donovan
    Get competent counsel and defend the DUI charge. Your employers can fire you for any reason that does not violate public policy. Given your position requires a license, I don't see a basis for a claim against your employer. Best bet, make the investment and find a good attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    Talk to an attorney who handles employment law, but I will tell you that you cannot sue an employer who fires you. Understand that the employer could be held liable if you were to have an accident, and if you use his delivery vehicle, and it is covered by his liability insurance company, the insurer can cancel his insurance for his entire fleet. So I would suggest you are wasting your time and money in trying to sue the employer. Spend that money on hiring a good defense attorney, the consequences of a conviction on you can be catastrophic. An attorney will be able to tell you if you can get a disposition that will not permanently mark you.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Can I sue them if they dismiss me? NO. Not only are there no laws against poor management, 'unfair treatment', or rude and obnoxious behavior [which by the way theirs is not], but in general unless an employee is civil service, in a union, or has a written employment contract, they are an 'at will' employee that can be disciplined or fired any time for any reason, with or without ?cause?, explanation or notice. Drivers being arrested for DUI have their license suspended by DMV automatically, will be disqualified from company insurance, etc. That is proper grounds to terminate you. A little free advice: When charged or arrested for DUI, whether alcohol or drugs, then upon release from jail or booking the defendant is given documents that include a notice that you have only ten days to file a request with DMV for a hearing on an appeal of an automatic suspension of your license imposed by DMV. That is separate and runs consecutively with any suspension that may be imposed by the court. Contact DMV and do so, timely, then appear at your scheduled DMV appeal hearing and present any supporting evidence and testimony. What steps should I do to ensure that I do not get a conviction? Hire an attorney and pray for a miracle. Of course you can fight the charges. When arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a test, search or confession be used against you, can you be convicted, and what can you do? Raise all appropriate defenses with whatever witnesses, evidence and sympathies are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or for trial. If you don't know how to represent yourself effectively against an experienced prosecutor intending to convict, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion program, reduction, or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    The Law Firm of Aaron Bortel Esq.
    The Law Firm of Aaron Bortel Esq. | Aaron Bortel
    You need to talk to a lawyer who is an employment law specialist. In most cases, an employer can fire you if you are convicted of a DUI. Employers do this for a number of reasons, one being because your new driving record will make their insurance costs go up.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    Dismissal on account of a DUI seems reasonable as you will likely lose your driving privileges. You may plan to hire an attorney to contest the DUI.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC
    Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC | Thomas A. Medford, Jr.
    If thisn is your first offense you may be able to be placed in a diversion program which could result in this charge being dismissed. I urge you to secure the services of an attorney who is skill in the defense of persons chareged with DUI.
    Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
    Probably not. Georgia law favors employers. Unless you have a specific employment contract, you can be fired at any time unless you are fired for a reason banned by law, such as age, sex, race, etc. Getting a DUI is not protected by law.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    No you cannot sue them, because driving offenses are related to your job as a driver. You need to retain an experienced attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Goodgame Law, LLC
    Goodgame Law, LLC | Jeffrey L Goodgame
    Yes, your employer can fire you at will. You will have no cause of action against them. Also, your license will be suspended so you would not be able to drive without a valid driver's license. You need a qualified DUI attorney to defend you in the DUI case and challenge your license suspension.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    No you cannot sue them. They are right to fire you for a DUI, because a first DUI conviction results in a 1-year suspension of your commercial license. So I would fire you myself if I were your boss. You better hire a DUI specialist so you don't have to get convicted in the first place.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    Your employer would have the right to terminate your employment. Your conviction would likely affect the employer's insurance coverage.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Washington is an "At Will" state. Your employers can terminate you for any reason or no reason at all. Unless they are firing you for an illegal reason, i.e. discrimination or whistle blower, there's nothing you can do about it. As far as "getting out" of your DUI, that's wishful thinking. It won't happen at all unless you hire an experienced DUI attorney and even then there are no guarantees. Either way you look at it, this is going to be an expensive trip. Depending on your breath-alcohol level, you're looking at one or two days in jail. You're looking at fines of about $1,600 and other financial obligations to get your license back. Additionally, your license will soon be suspended. If you don't request a hearing, it will be suspended whether you are convicted or not. There is a small ray of hope. You can apply for a restricted license. You have to put an ignition interlock on any road vehicle you drive. That's a hassle and more expense. But unless you win your DOL hearing and get your DUI reduced or beat it, you will have to have the ignition interlock anyway. So it's time to get off the fence and talk to an experienced DUI lawyer now. Also get your hearing request mailed in today so you have some chance of delaying your license suspension. You can also look into a Deferred Prosecution but that requires an earnest commitment to treatment. You will have to have an alcohol evaluation eventually so you might as well get that going. If it says you need treatment, get into treatment asap.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law
    Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law | Michael Maltby
    I doubt if you would have grounds for a lawsuit given the facts as presented.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    The Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache
    The Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache | Stephanie Arrache
    They can fire you, as you will lose your commercial drivers license if convicted. You need to consult an attorney immediately to fight this charge. You only have 10 days after arrest to request a DMV hearing to not lose your license.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    The Short Law Group, P.C.
    The Short Law Group, P.C. | Shawn Kollie
    With the help of this DUI Lawyer you can work with your company to smooth over any issues with you losing your job, as well as limit the 'punishment' through the courts. Although there are no guarantees in the criminal defense area of the law, hiring a good DUI Lawyer is one of the best things you can do. Regarding a civil case against employer, it is difficult to proceed with a case like the one you are describing, as it appears you would be terminated 'for cause'.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    No, you cannot sue your employer for firing you if you got a DUI/DWI and you are a driver. You will loose your license if you are convicted and therefore cannot do your job, i.e.: you will be fired or cause. On the how to defeat question, hire a lawyer and do it ASAP. I cannot tell you the number of times clients show up a day or two before the first court hearing. That is better than not looking for a lawyer at all, but the time to file for an ALR is gone. If you refuse blood/breathe, there is a 10 day window to request an ALR. Also, getting the story locked early and putting the cops on notice is better. Evidence disappears, all the time, the longer you wait, the longer the cops have to "accidentally" record over the dash cam in your case. Strange how that happens, every time I have never had a dash cam fail to record or a tape lost when my client was validly stopped. But many times, in fact, about 30% of the time when my client's side of the story calls the legality of the stop into question, the tape is mysteriously missing. Moving sooner is important, do not wait, find a lawyer now.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Glass Defense Firm
    Glass Defense Firm | Jason M. Glass
    You typically do not have grounds to sue for being dismissed based upon a DUI conviction. If driving is a part of your employment and you get a DUI, it will impact the company's insurance policy and they will not cover you, hence the reason for the dismissal. Frankly, you should consider yourself lucky that you haven't been dismissed yet. I have seen it happen all too frequently at the mere mention of an arrest. DUI cases are winnable, but you need to contact a qualified attorney to discuss your options.
    Answer Applies to: West Virginia
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    MCCLUSKEY LAW OFFICE
    MCCLUSKEY LAW OFFICE | Mary McCluskey
    What can you do? Hire a DUI attorney sooner rather than later (like immediately). If you have a CDL, you have a lot to lose.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    If you are a delivery driver, I would expect that you will be fired if you get convicted of DUI. You need to hire a good DUI lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Rhoades & Miller, LLP
    Rhoades & Miller, LLP | M. Jason Rhoades
    Do you have a CDL? If so, a DUI will result in a mandatory suspension of your CDL for 1 year for a first DUI. Employers can fire you for any reason, so you are going to have a really hard time suing them. What you need to do is win your case or get the charges reduced.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Caruso & Diaz L.L.C.
    Caruso & Diaz L.L.C. | Natalia Diaz
    Your license may be suspended from anywhere from three months to over a year. You won't be able to drive with a suspended license. No, you can't sue your employer for not cooperating in breaking the law by allowing you to drive once your suspended.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    You need to retain criminal defense counsel conversant in DWI defense, which is what we do. You would have no case in suing your employer.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    well you can always sue, but you will not likely win employer can be concerned that the DUI increases their liability if you get in an accident while driving on the job, especially if you happened to be drinking while on the job they get to do this.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Dowdy Law Office
    Dowdy Law Office | J. Scott Dowdy
    No you can't sue for a dismissal. Hire an attorney fast.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein | Neal L. Weinstein
    Immediately hire an experienced attorney like myself. You will be hearing first from the Sec of State, and must request a hearing to prevent an immediate suspension of your license.
    Answer Applies to: Maine
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Ascheman & Smith | Landon Ascheman
    No, you would not be able to sue them for dismissing you. You need to consult a criminal defense attorney, like myself, in your area to help you with your case. A criminal defense attorney can help answer your questions and may identify problems that you would not be aware of.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Lykins Law | Gerald Lykins
    Unless you have a contract, you have no right to sue.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    No, you are an at will employee, they can fire you for getting a DWI. You need to hire the best DWI attorney that you can afford. After all, your career is on the line.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/1/2012
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