Employers frequently use background checks in the hiring process. This can spell trouble for a job applicant with a criminal history. An applicant's background check can expose a DUI charge or conviction -- and may affect a person's ability to land the job.
Like many other cities and states, Philadelphia restricts an employer's ability to consider a DUI offense in a hiring decision.
Philadelphia's Laws on Background Checks
Philadelphia's law on Fair Criminal Record Screening Standards try to ensure that job applicants are judged on their resume and interview rather than their criminal history.
The ordinance applies to Philadelphia public and private employers with at least 10 employees who work in the city. Under the law, employers can't ask about an arrest that didn't lead to a conviction. Also, employers can't ask about any criminal convictions during the application process or during an initial interview.
After the initial interview, employers are allowed to ask about an applicant's criminal history -- but only convictions. Asking about a DUI arrest still isn't OK.
Still, employers are known to use Facebook to research applicants. In such a case, they can come across information about a DUI arrest that otherwise might not show up. If you have any information on a DUI arrest posted on your profile, do yourself a favor and don't "like" it, delete it.
What Should You Do?
If you're not covered by the Philadelphia ordinance, expungement might be an option. Pennsylvania allows DUI records to be expunged, though it's pretty fact-specific. To find out if it's an option, you may want to speak to an experienced Philadelphia DUI attorney.
If you can't get your record expunged, just tell the truth. That being said, keep your Facebook profile and Twitter feed clean of DUI-related rants. That would be TMI.
- Plenty of Sobering DUI Content for You on FindLaw.com (FindLaw's Insider)
- 5 Ways a DUI Conviction Can Cost You (FindLaw's Blotter)
- How to Expunge a DUI Conviction (FindLaw's Blotter)
- 5 Possible Ways to Get DUI Charges Dismissed (FindLaw's Blotter)