Is it normal to be fired for a DUI? 43 Answers as of July 12, 2013

I got hired at a job as a delivery driver. I told them before I got hired that I had a DUI. They hired me. I worked for about two months driving their vans the whole time during the period. I come in one day and they said because I have a dui they couldn’t keep me any longer. Is this normal?

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Dearbonn Law Offices
Dearbonn Law Offices | Ajibola Oluyemisi Oladapo
You cannot be a DUI convict while working as a delivery driver. The two are related. You may well be fired. In the event that you a charged with another DUI and convicted while driving the company vehicle in the cause of your duty as a delivery driver, you will be regarded as an agent of the company , making the company fully liable for your acts. To avoid that possible liability therefore, they fired you.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/1/2011
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
If you have had a recent conviction for DUI most employers do not want you to work for them in a driving capacity. You are considered too much of a risk and are probably not insurable.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/31/2011
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
I do not know what is normal, and suspect that the policy will vary by employer. In an employment where driving is required, the employer may need to maintain auto insurance. The rate for insurance may increase if a driver has a DUI. Therefore, the business may have a policy of not hiring persons with DUI convictions. Also, there is the possibility that an employer could get sued based on a person drinking on the job and driving. Again, this may be a criteria for hiring or firing. I hope that this was helpful.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/31/2011
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
It doesn't sound normal to me. On the other hand they do have an interest in insuring their drivers are the highest quality. If you have questions re illegal termination call an employment lawyer.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/27/2011
Timothy J. Thill P.C.
Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
This is more of a question for an attorney who practices employment-related law, however, I would suggest the employer had a right to fire you, because of possible liability issues which could arise if you were involved in an accident with the delivery vehicle. I also would think that the insurance carrier for your employer's company was concerned about your history, and told the employer to let you go, or they might cancel their coverage for the entire company.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 5/27/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    It could be that they disclosed to their insurance company you had a DUI and the insurance company required them to fire you based on those charges.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    It is kind of strange since you disclosed it up front, but Alabama is an at-will employment state. You can be terminated for a wrong reason, a right reason, or no reason at all. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
    It is not unusual for a company to let someone go as a result of a DUI conviction especially where one of the job requirements is driving as this potentially creates a huge liability for the company. Sorry that you lost your job.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    For driver positions, sure. Im surprised they hired you. Their insurance would generally prohibit hiring anyone with a poor driving record.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    DUI may cost the company more to insure. In Nebraska they don't need any real reason.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    It does not sound "normal" to me, but that does not mean it's illegal. You need to consult with an employment attorney. If you would like a referral for an employment attorney, we can be reached toll free.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Law Office of Michael Moody
    Law Office of Michael Moody | Michael Moody
    It is not a question of normal or not normal. Georgia is a right to work state, meaning an employer can fire any employee at will. They probably changed their policy. If you had a CDL, then a DUI would revoke the CDL.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    Some companies may have internal policies which would prohibit you from continued employment with certain convictions. A DUI is a very serious charge which could have serious implications and concerns for a company that employs you as a driver. Firing an employee is usually at the discretion of the employer as long as it does not involve discrimination.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    It depends on what you mean by normal. A lot of jobs where driving is the main requirement often will fire or at least demote employees who get DUIs. I would ask them why they apparently changed their minds when they were already privy to the knowledge that they fired you for. Most employment is "at will" meaning that you can literally be fired for just about any reason or no reason at all, as long as the reason is not discriminatory.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    Typically it is not the company that makes that call but either the company's auto insurance carrier or bonder. Insurers have been known to cancel the policies of people convicted of DUIIs and it is not uncommon for them to refuse to insure an employee with a DUII on his or her record. Also, delivery drivers commonly have to be bonded (since they often have to collect and carry money for their work). Sometimes a criminal conviction can make a person unable to be bonded. Most likely, however, I would blame your employer's insurance company.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    Unless you had an employment contract, they can fire you for any reason or for no reason at all.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    It will depend largely upon their company policy and how they handle criminal records. It certainly seems strange that they would have hired you and then fired you if they were aware of a DUI conviction the whole time. You should consult with a local employment attorney to determine whether you might have an employment discrimination case.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    I'm surprised that your former employer hired you at all. Company policies vary, but the higher cost of insurance alone means most companies will not hire a person with a DUI as a delivery driver.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman | Scott G. Hilderman
    If you live in Montana, there is a statutory probation period for new employees of six months. During the six months you can be fired for any reason.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    If you are an employee at will the employer is not required by law to give you a reason to discharge you unless you are in a union or you have an employment contract or your employment is governed by an employee handbook. In those cases discharge from employment is governed by a union contract, an employment contract, or the employee handbook. Otherwise an employer can discharge you without any reason whatsoever. If you have further questions, feel free to call.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    That is an issue left entirely up to the particular employer. It would not be terribly unusual where the job involves driving an automobile since the offense may increase the employer's insurance rates.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Law Offices of Karen Kilpatrick
    Law Offices of Karen Kilpatrick | Karen Kilpatrick
    I guess I'm not really surprised. It's more surprising to me that they hired you as a driver in the first place with the DUI conviction. My guess is that this was "at will" employment, which means they can fire you for any reason whatsoever, with our without cause. Although a DUI conviction is likely good cause. At any rate, sorry that it happened and good luck. The only way to clear a conviction from your record in Florida is to ask for a pardon, but that is only possible if 10 years have passed from the date of conviction.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    It depends on the type of job and company policy. Many insurance companies will not insure a driver who has a OWI on his/her record for a period of time leaving an employer no choice but to terminate the employee in order to maintain insurance coverage. Since Michigan is an at will employment state, an employer can terminate someone who is not under an employment contract for any reason or no reason just not an illegal reason. Without more details, I cannot provide a more precise answer.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    It is unfortunate, but not abnormal. What probably happened was the insurer for the company trucks finally took a look at the drivers' records for the company and came across your DWI and issued a memo to the company that they would cancel the insurance policy if they kept you on as an employee. Sorry, but that is one of the realities of carrying a criminal record. I'm sympathetic to your plight, but there's nothing that can be done about it since employees work at the favor of the their employer. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    It may have affected their insurance rates since you were driving for them. This is not unusual.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    I am unsure how to answer your question about whether or not this policy is normal. Each company has its own rules. We wish you the best. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    I don't know what is normal. I practice exclusively criminal defense, but remember from law school almost 18 years ago that employment is at will. This means that you can be let go for no reason at anytime, and that you can quit at any time. It is my opinion that the company probably was in a bind, used your services and then found someone that met the actual requirements of no DWI conviction. Sorry and good luck in your job search.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Giannini Law Office, PC
    Giannini Law Office, PC | Robert Giannini
    Unfortunately, companies will often fire drivers who have DUI charges. There is probably not much you can do about that. If you are looking to sue them or get some compensation I doubt that you can. I guess if you could show that they knew about the DUI before they hired you and told you it would not be a problems, and that you gave up some other lucrative opportunity based upon your reasonable reliance that they would let you work there despite the Dui, then maybe you could sue them. Or, maybe this would allow you to file for unemployment. You would need to find an employment or civil attorney in your area to evaluate whether this claim would have any merit.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    Employers are now being advised by their lawyers or corporate headquarters not to hire anyone with certain criminal convictions. This is because the employer can be held liable on any lawsuit for wrongful death, sexual harassment, assault, or other crime committed by their employees, especially if they have prior notice of your criminal history, drug use, alcohol abuse, or mental illness. I advise these individuals to start their own small business or home business so that hey will eventually make more money, have a better career, and control their own destiny.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    I have heard of this, particularly where the job duties entail driving. You should consider getting an expungement to help avoid this issue in the future. I can be reached through 1duilawyer.com and have successfully expunged DUI's in the past. Feel free to contact me to discuss in further detail.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    While it might not seem fair, there is nothing to prevent them from firing you. They probably received some notice from their insurance company. Premiums would to high to keep you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    The Law Firm of David Jolly
    The Law Firm of David Jolly | David Jolly
    It is not normal to be fired after being arrested for or convicted of a DUI. However, such a thing is up to the individual employer and when an employer requires an individual to drive company vehicles it can cause difficulties. That said, in Washington State there is an exception to the ignition interlock requirement for employer vehicles, thankfully. This enables the individual convicted of DUI to drive vehicles under the control of the employer without the device, assuming the employer signs the waiver and the waiver is filed with the DOL. To answer your original question, although it happens, it is indeed unusual to lose your job as a result of a DUI. Sorry to hear.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    This isn't a criminal law question. You need to speak to an employment attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Sharifi & Baron
    Sharifi & Baron | S. Yossof Sharifi
    DUI's, especially in Utah, carry a number of collateral consequences that may not be outlined in court. For example, the suspension of your driver license, in the inability to enter Canada, and of course getting fired. It would depend on the type of work you do, but Utah is an "at will" state and firing someone for a criminal conviction, particularly one involving drugs or alcohol like a DUI, is acceptable in many circumstances, . If you really believe it was unfair, I would suggest speaking with an employment attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    Employers in California may discharge you at anytime. Normally a company would not hire someone for a position that requires driving when they have a recent DUI on their record. It seems unusual that they hired you after you informed them of the DUI conviction and then turned around and let you go. However these things do happen.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Yes, it is normal. They need to protect themselves from lawsuits. God forbid, a DUI employee injures a pedestrian, who then sues. You might want to talk to a labor attorney, since they did hire you with full knowledge of the DUI.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Van Der Jagt Law Firm
    Van Der Jagt Law Firm | Grant Van Der Jagt
    No. This is probably "wrongful termination" but depending on where you worked (which state) it may still be permissible. In Colorado, we are an "at will" state, and as long as they don't fire you because of one of about 15 reasons, not including DUI, then there is no recourse.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    I grew up in the trucking industry. What is normal for one company is not normal for another, so it is impossible to answer your question. That said, I know that we released drivers when the insurance company told us the driver could not be covered, this could take weeks. We tried not to hire drivers we thought would not pass the insurance checks, but at the end of the day, it did happen.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    The Law Offices of Jason Pollack, Esq.
    The Law Offices of Jason Pollack, Esq. | Jason Pollack
    New Jersey is an "at will" employment state. Therefore, you can be fired for any reason or no reason at all. Unless you are in a protected class : religion, race etc. You probably have no cause of action.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Nichols Law Firm
    Nichols Law Firm | Michael J. Nichols
    In your case, unfortunate bit not surprising.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/12/2013
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