Uber’s Background Checks Under Fire

Are you safe taking an Uber? Uber's background checking procedures have come under fire by state lawmakers, pressuring the company to do a better job....but they are resisting any changes.
Nina Fenton
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Uber may be facing some major changes to their background checking process as states across the country demand the company raise the bar by conducting more thorough reviews of their drivers lives. The list of states pressing Uber to implement new standards is long, with California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Florida and Missouri leading the pack.

Lawmakers in California are being particularly aggressive and have instituted a newly minted bill that will require the company to conduct “the best background check there is.” With Assembly Bill 1289, Uber will be required to perform fingerprint background screening which will hopefully fill the significant gaps in their current system that have made it possible for drivers to become employed despite their histories of murder, sexual assault and a bevy of other crimes.

Current Uber Process

Uber has long stood behind their background checking process stating in a July blog post on their website, “All driver-partners wanting to use the Uber platform are required to undergo an extensive background check, which is performed on our behalf by Accurate and/or Chekr. Both are accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners and use a process for Uber that is similar to that provided to other other companies such as Care.com, Starbucks, WalMart, Nike, FedEx, UPS and Amazon.”

However, the background checks Uber conduct only produce results for the last seven years, which is a real sticking points with most states as some lawmakers feel it is “troubling and misleading to Uber customers and to the public at large.”

George Gason, San Francisco district attorney, continues this line of thinking as he states, “So, for example, if someone was convicted of kidnapping eight years ago, and they just paroled last week – they just got out of prison – they Uber background check process will not identify the person as a convicted kidnapper.”

Uber Pushes Back

Despite the many glaring issues with their current process, Uber is pushing back against the many suggestions being made that they implement fingerprint searches during their pre-employment background screenings.

Uber spokesman Taylor Bennett said in a recent statement, “The FBI database and the state database against which…fingerprints are matched include arrest records for people who were never charged let alone convicted. This issue often flags innocent people, unfairly discriminating against them from earning a living. Generally only criminal records linked with a fingerprint can identified and reported. This is not necessarily someone’s full criminal history.”

However, lawmakers aren’t buying what Uber’s trying to sell them as many have hinted at their motives being more aligned with concerns over the delay these more in-depth background checks may cause, as the company continues to put more drivers on the roads.

As of now, the battle over a more detailed background check process wages on as Uber continues to pump out drivers in cities across the country all while resisting the many calls to action being directed at them.

Health Street’s Background Screening

Some of the background check services we offer:

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Nina works hard to be a voice to the voiceless whose stories about drug testing, DNA testing and paternity deserve to be told. It is her goal to always come from a place free of judgment and full of compassion.

WRITTEN BY

Nina works hard to be a voice to the voiceless whose stories about drug testing, DNA testing and paternity deserve to be told. It is her goal to always come from a place free of judgment and full of compassion.

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Background Screening

Read Health Street's informative articles about background checks.

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Background Screening

Read Health Street's informative articles about background checks.