In a word, yes, you can get a job even with a felony DUI on your record. According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers cannot discriminate against job candidates. That includes job seekers with criminal records. You should always be given a chance to provide a backstory for your record and outline your qualifications for employment.
That being said, an employer will still take certain criminal offenses into account depending on the job. The key to finding employment if you have a felony DUI on your record is to know which jobs are likely to hire you and which are not worth your time pursuing. If you are unsure or have any questions, a legal professional can help you understand your rights to employment even if you have a criminal record.
What to Keep in Mind
Despite discrimination laws and your own efforts to restart your life after a DUI, some doors will close to you as you seek employment. This is because employers are well within their rights to take your record into account if they believe it will have any bearing on the particular job for which you are applying.
Avoid Jobs Involving Driving or Machinery
Positions with an emphasis on driving are not likely to be filled with a person who has a felony DUI on their record. These include:
- Rideshare drivers, like Uber or Lyft
- Courier or delivery jobs
- Taxi or bus drivers
- Truck drivers
- Heavy machinery operators
Employers have a right to determine who is the best candidate for the position they are filling.
The Clean Slate Bill Does Not Apply
In 2018, Pennsylvania passed the Clean Slate Bill, which limits access to some individuals’ criminal records, thereby boosting their potential job prospects. If you have a felony DUI on your record, however, this bill does not apply to you.
For more information on this bill, or if you have any questions about your eligibility, you can reach out to a lawyer who is familiar with these types of cases.
You Have Options and the Right to Employment
Regardless of your criminal record, you have the right to employment. Companies should emphasize that they are equal opportunity employers and provide you with the chance to provide context for your past. Some employers will even provide information on their hiring policies for applicants with criminal records.
As you proceed with your job search, try to follow a few of these suggestions:
- Look for businesses that are open to hiring felons, especially for nonviolent crimes, or are upfront and clear about their hiring policies for individuals with criminal records
- Do not lie or omit information on your application regarding your record
- Use an interview as an opportunity to provide context and explain what you’ve learned from your experience
- Emphasize your other strengths and skills to showcase how you’ll be an asset to a company
What to Do If You Suspect Discrimination
Discrimination based on criminal history does happen, and it can be frustrating and discouraging for job seekers with a record. In some cases, this is in violation of the Civil Rights Act, and you could bring a case against the employer.
For instance, the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has found that some employers may treat criminal records differently depending on the applicant’s race or national origin, which is discrimination. Similarly, in certain situations, screening applicants based on criminal records can be considered discriminatory, especially since such screenings may be more likely to affect certain groups of people who are protected by the Civil Rights Act.
However, remember that employers also have a right not to hire you if your criminal history indicates an inability to fulfill the duties that a particular job requires. Additionally, some employers may have insurance considerations that prevent them from hiring someone with a DUI.
If you suspect you have been unfairly denied consideration for employment because you have a DUI on your record, an attorney can help apprise you of your rights.
McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. Can Help
If you have been unable to find a job, and have reached the point where you’re wondering if you can get a job with a felony DUI on your record, the legal team at McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. is here to help.
Knowing your rights, knowing your potential employer’s rights, and recognizing possible discrimination can help make your search more fruitful.
Call us today at (610) 680-7842 to speak with a member of our team.