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A DWI conviction can make job hunting a frustrating task

A conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI) will follow you and possibly hamper your efforts to find suitable employment.

However, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provides arrest and conviction guidelines for employers. Will these guidelines help you in finding work?

Job hunting issues

Even if your conviction for DWI is a first offense and the only mark on your driving record, it may make job hunting difficult. Many employers today run background checks on applicants. When a recruiter sees that DWI conviction, he or she may pass you over for someone with a clean driving record. The concern is that you could have an addiction to alcohol, which might cause you to miss days of work. Moreover, the DWI conviction would prevent you from obtaining the certification or state licensing you need to enter certain professions, such as education or law.

The EEOC and criminal history information

In 2012, the EEOC issued “Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” In short, this provides updated guidelines for employers as well as employees and job applicants. The Guidance does not prevent employers from using arrest and conviction records. The goal is to prevent using criminal history in a discriminatory way. For example, if your criminal record disproportionately excludes you from employment because of your race, the employer must show that the exclusion is a “business necessity” in order to avoid liability.

Mount a challenge

If law enforcement arrests you on suspicion of DWI, was there probable cause? Was there a breath test error? Mistakes happen. Given the possible negative impact of a DWI mark on your record, consider legal assistance to challenge the charge against you and help keep your employment plans on track.