The short answer is no. Under Florida law, employees are not required to tell their employer they have been convicted of a Driving under the Influence (DUI) offense.
However, it’s sometimes in the employee’s best interest to disclose a DUI conviction to maintain an honest and transparent employment relationship. Keep reading to learn more about this unique situation.
Florida does not legally require at-will employees to disclose criminal convictions.
However, disclosure works both ways because an employer can fire someone for failure to disclose a conviction, so an employee should consider disclosing their conviction in certain circumstances.
These circumstances include the following:
First, many employers pay out-of-pocket for employee assistance programs (EAP).
EAPs often provide treatment and counseling services for substance abuse. Thus, instead of the employee paying for these services, the employer may already have these services in place for their employees’ benefit.
Second, an employer may ask whether an employee has been convicted of a DUI during the application process or during the course of employment.
If the employee refuses to answer or answers dishonestly, the employee may be breaking the employer’s trust, which could adversely affect the employee’s future with the employer.
Before disclosing a DUI conviction to an employer, the employee should consult their employee handbook.
In some cases, especially for large employers, the employee handbook will contain helpful information about various employment-related issues, including disclosure of a criminal conviction. Failure to disclose such information within a reasonable timeframe is often considered a terminable offense.
Most positions in Florida are considered at-will employment, which means the employer can terminate someone’s employment for any reason–except for discriminatory reasons.
For example, in some states, an employer making an adverse employment decision (i.e., firing someone or failing to hire an applicant) based on a person’s criminal background history is considered discriminatory.
However, Florida does not consider this a form of discrimination. Thus, a person can be fired from their current position or not be hired based on a job application because of a DUI conviction.
No. Under Florida law, a person convicted of a DUI cannot have the conviction expunged or sealed from their record.
However, an experienced Florida DUI defense attorney can obtain a lesser charge on behalf of their client, which may be eligible for expungement or sealing.
Because a DUI conviction cannot be erased from the public record, those convicted should consider disclosing the existence of the offense.
If you have recently been charged or convicted of a DUI offense, it’s best to consider contacting an experienced DUI defense attorney for representation.
At Katz & Phillips, P.A., one of our licensed and certified expert Orlando DUI defense attorneys is eager to assist any driver with their legal defense. Contact us today by visiting our website, or call us at (321) 332-6864.