DWI & EMPLOYMENT BACKGROUND CHECKS: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Posted: October 25, 2017
An employer may decide to perform background checks on current or prospective employees for any number of reasons. Many people with past convictions or charges, especially those who committed DWI, are afraid that their criminal record will have a negative impact on their careers.
Fortunately, there are some legal protections for job seekers with criminal records in Missouri. Federal and state laws place limits on how employers can use these records in making employment decisions.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) applies to background checks performed by outside companies but not those conducted in-house. The FCRA prohibits the reporting of criminal arrests after a period of seven years, while criminal convictions may be reported indefinitely. Under this act, employers must obtain the applicant’s written consent before requesting a check, inform the applicant if the employer plans to screen him or her out based on the contents of the report, and give notice to the applicant as soon as the employer makes a final decision not to consider the applicant based on the report.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects applicants and employees from discrimination in every aspect of employment, such as hiring and screening practices. Since arrest and incarceration rates are much higher for African Americans and Latinos, an employer might be guilty of race discrimination if have a blanket policy of excluding all applicants with a criminal record. Employers should give applicants with a criminal record a chance to explain the circumstances of the offense and provide mitigating information which demonstrates that the employee should not be excluded based on their record.
In Missouri, there is no law which specifically restricts employer use of criminal records. However, the state does prohibit discriminable in professional or occupational licensing. While the conviction may be considered, the licensing board needs to also consider the crime’s relation to the license, the date of the conviction, and the applicant’s conduct since conviction.
INTERESTED IN GETTING YOUR CRIMINAL RECORD EXPUNGED?
If you are interested in getting your DWI charge or conviction expunged from your record, the offense must be your first and only alcohol-related driving offense and must have been a misdemeanor. Furthermore, the DWI charge must be at least 10 years old. If you qualify, our Springfield DWI attorneys at Worsham Law Firm are committed to helping you put your past clearly behind you.