Can I be fired for DUI before being convicted?

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Can I be fired for DUI before being convicted?

Had a small accident involving company car and my own car, in my own driveway. Called to file report. Was arrested on DUI. Refused the field sobriety but acknowledged that iI did have a drink (I was not drunk). Reported this all to my company and they suspended me immediately with pay pending the out come of court appearance. Court is 1/13/11 but the attorney is waiving my first appearance. He feels convinced this will be dropped. Can the company fire me in the mean time? I do belong to a union but it is not very strong and I have not consulted the union lawyer yet.

Asked on January 12, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If, as you indicate, there is a union contract, then if it has any terms or conditions relating to termination, suspension, discipine, etc. that apply to your situation, they must be fired. However other than that, you may be fired at any time, for any reason by your employer, which means you may be fired in the meantime for the DUI. Employees in the United States are "employees at will," who can be fired for any reason at any time, except to the extent there is an employment contract (including a union or collective bargaining agreement) to the contrary. So you need to check your union contract and with your union rep to see what rights you have in this situation. Good luck.


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