Can My Employer Fire Me in Georgia After a DUI Arrest?
In Georgia, we are a “right to work” state. That means that an employer can fire an employee for any reason, except for reasons that would amount to discrimination. Under most circumstances, an employer can fire someone after a DUI Arrest in Georgia.
What if I Have a Contract?
An employment contract can be a double-edged sword. The contract may prevent a person from being fired immediately. However, most contracts have a “morals clause.” As a result, a misdemeanor arrest may give cause to terminate an employee.
Constructive Violation of an Employment Contract:
Even if an employee's contract specifically does not mention whether a DUI is a cause for termination, for some employees a DUI will make it impossible for that person to perform their duties at work.
For example, for salespeople who drive company vehicles, a DUI could potentially make that person uninsurable. As a result, there would be no choice for an employer but to terminate someone.
Another example are utility workers, whether employed by a governmental body or by private companies such as Comcast. Those employees drive company vehicles and cannot perform their duties with the license restrictions associated with a DUI conviction.
Uber and Lyft:
I get this question all the time. Can I drive for Uber or Lyft with a DUI conviction? The answer is 100% up to the company in which you are asking to employ you. The current answer is that people with DUI convictions are an unreasonable risk to these companies.
The Moral of the Story:
Be familiar with your company's policies insofar as an arrest is concerned. Make sure you are also familiar with any legal obligation you have to report an arrest to your employer. Then, always consult with a Georgia DUI Attorney before even making the decision to tell an employer about a DUI Arrest. There may be defenses in your case that would result in a Non-DUI outcome. We are here to help when you need us most.