People who get arrested for Driving Under the Influence or DUI in the State of Delaware often ask if they have to report it to their employer. The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, and is something to be discussed with your DUI defense lawyer. There is no blanket Delaware law that says if you’re charged with drunk driving or impaired driving, you must automatically report it to your employer. But that’s not the end of the inquiry, unfortunately.
Do you have an Employment Agreement requiring you to report the DUI?
The first thing to look at is your Employment Agreement to see if there’s anything requiring you to tell your employer about your DUI. Most jobs in Delaware do not have written employment agreements. But some do. For example, just yesterday I reviewed an employment agreement for a medical doctor. That agreement had a requirement that the doctor tell the employer if she was convicted, or if she pleaded guilty or no contest, to any misdemeanor or felony criminal offense.
Does the Employee Handbook require you to report your DUI?
The second thing I would look at is the Employee Handbook to see if a DUI conviction would need to be reported. Oftentimes, employers do not utilize Employment Agreements, but they will have an Employee Handbook. The Handbook will contain many of the policies and procedures that govern or control the employment relationship. There may be a policy requiring you to report police contact if it’s during work hours or while on-the-job. But if the DUI is not work-related, then that may or may not be a different issue.
Do other policies/procedures require you to disclose the DUI?
The third place I look is in the other policies and procedures published by the employer to address reporting of criminal arrests, including DUI. Sometimes, employers will publish additional policies – notes, policy memos, etc. – that supplement the Employee Handbook. You may find that since the Handbook was written, the employer has created new policies to address reporting of DUIs. Make sure to give your DUI attorney all documents published by your employer if you’re evaluating your DUI employment reporting requirements.
Do you have a Collective Bargaining Agreement that addresses DUI reporting?
Finally, if the workers at your workplace have unionized or organized, the duties you owe concerning reporting a DUI up the chain of command may be governed by a Collective Bargaining Agreement or CBA. If you believe there’s a CBA but you don’t have a copy, you should ask your union representative to provide you with a copy, and have your DUI lawyer review it.
We know that representing and fighting for our clients who have been arrested in Delaware and charged with DUI means protecting them not just in the courtroom, but in the workplace too. If you have been arrested and charged with DUI, please make sure you discuss any employment-related concerns with your DUI attorney, and if a consultation with an employment law specialist is needed, make sure you get one. A DUI in Delaware is taken very seriously by the police, prosecutors, courts, Department of Motor Vehicles, employers and potential employers. Make sure you take your DUI seriously too!
James M. “Matt” Stiller, Jr. is the Delaware DUI Defender, and defends people accused of DUI in all courts and in all counties in the State of Delaware.