Compliance Corner: Must Employee Notify Lab of DUI?

QUESTION

If one of our employees gets a DUI, do they have to notify us?

ANSWER

It depends.

EXPLANATION

There are at least four factors affecting whether the employee would have to come forward and tell you about the DUI?

  1. Your HR policies: What, if anything, do your current policies say about whether employees must notify you of their DUIs?
  2. Conviction or arrest? If the employee was arrested but not convicted, he/she may be able to prove innocence (or may have already done so if the charges were dropped or the employee was acquitted). A conviction, on the other hand, would more likely affect job performance and thus require disclosure.
  3. Impact on job performance: Notification is required if the DUI has an actual or potential impact on job performance, such as if:
  • The employee needs to drive to do the job, e.g., a courier;
  • The employee’s job is safety-sensitive;
  • The employee can’t do the job with a revoked or suspended driver’s license;
  • The job requires the highest standards of morality and conduct, e.g., the employee is your ethics officer or in a sensitive public relations position.
  1. On or off duty? Notification is almost sure to be required if the DUI happened while the employee was on duty.

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