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Can I Sue My Employer For Firing Me After A DUI?

August 15, 2016

In addition to the fines and criminal penalties, a person arrested for DUI may face the loss of their job. Whether you lose your job, or not, depends on several factors, including the type of job you have and your employment terms. Sometimes there are policies in place that determine whether or not you will keep your job.  To be able to sue your employer for firing you, you have to establish that you were wrongfully terminated (view for more about wrongful termination laws) and that your employer violated your rights by firing you.

Employment Contract

Some employers include a mandatory firing policy, in their employee handbook or as part of their employment contract, after an arrest. However, employment contracts or state laws may specify that firing is only permitted if you’re convicted, not just arrested.

Transportation Services

If you work in a position where you are responsible for transportation of others, including pilots, bus drivers, limo drivers, or cab drivers, you can expect a DUI to be treated very seriously. Also, you might lose your job if you are driving a truck or in another capacity required to maintain a commercial driver’s license. Your employment contract may specify that arrests involving driving or relevant traffic citations may result in an automatic termination.

Also, an administrative process may be in place that automatically revokes a person’s pilot’s license, commercial license or any relevant type of license required to legally continue working in the event of a DUI. In some locations, a driver may have the option to install an ignition interlock to maintain their license for driving so that they will not experience a loss of employment.

A person who believes that they have a claim for wrongful termination must know that there is a statute of limitation in these cases. The statutes of limitation are a rule regarding the amount of time allowed to pass between the date of an employee’s discharge and a lawsuits initiation. By waiting to contact an attorney, a claimant may eventually become ineligible for relief.

It may be necessary to submit a claim through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before you file a lawsuit. Procedural issues may cause problems for people who may be unfamiliar with their states wrongful termination laws. As with many complex legal matters, it is highly recommended that you retain an attorney.

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About the Author

At the Law Offices of Top Gun DUI Defense Attorney Myles L. Berman, our experienced team of DUI / Drunk Driving defense lawyers are dedicated to aggressively defending people arrested for DUI.