As a certified substance abuse counselor, is it legal to deny me a job solely based on me not having my driver’s license?

I am a certified drug and alcohol counselor with the state. I have worked at 2 different residential programs and 1 outpatient. I have been out of work for 8 months and all the jobs that I have applied for require a DL. While going to school and paying for my credentials, I was never informed of the

requirement. If so, I may have made different decisions. The 2 residential

programs I have worked for my lack of a DL was not an issue and I was not

falling short on my fair share of the work load. I have had on program tell me

point blank that the only reason I didn’t get hired was for that reason. I have had DUI’s in my past and the financial burden to take DUI classes, SR22,

car payments and maintenance is a financial responsibility that I am unable to take on, and don’t feel I should have to in order to be in the field of counseling. I feel discriminated against.

Asked on September 19, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

This is perfectly legal and is not discrimination (at least, not in a legally actionable sense). An employer is free to put any requirements it likes on a job; that is part of what "employment at will" (which is the law of the land) means--that the employer is free to decide who to hire or what qualifications are necessary for a job. An employer may choose to require a driver's license.


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