Uber fined $eight.9M in Colorado for unhealthy background checks

Uber’s background checks face scrutiny. 


Uber is underneath hearth once more about whether or not its background checks are thorough sufficient.

Colorado regulators fined the ride-hailing firm $eight.9 million for permitting 57 drivers with prison or motorcar offenses onto its community. One of many drivers was a convicted felon and ordinary offender who used a pretend identify to enroll as an Uber driver, in keeping with state officers.

“We’ve got decided that Uber had background verify data that ought to have disqualified these drivers underneath the legislation, however they have been allowed to drive anyway,” Doug Dean, director of the Colorado Public Utilities Fee, CPUC, stated in a press release on Monday. “These actions put the protection of passengers in excessive jeopardy.”

Uber acknowledged that some drivers who should not have been allowed on its service had been accepted. The corporate blamed the issue on an error in its background verify course of and has deactivated some driver accounts as a part of its repair.

“This error affected a small variety of drivers and we instantly took corrective motion,” an Uber spokeswoman stated in an emailed assertion. “We are going to proceed to work intently with the CPUC to allow entry to secure, dependable transportation choices for all Coloradans.”

Uber is likely one of the largest ride-hailing providers on the planet, working in 75 international locations. As the corporate has grown, it has been criticized for allegedly letting criminals drive for it. Experiences of alleged assault, rape and kidnapping by Uber drivers usually make headlines.

A handful of different states, together with California, Massachusetts, Maryland and Texas, have launched investigations into Uber, alleging the corporate routinely fails to adequately display screen drivers and has employed drivers with prison histories. At the least half a dozen lawsuits have been filed towards the corporate primarily based on these allegations.

Colorado prison investigators crosschecked Uber’s driver data with data from the Colorado Crime Info Heart and courtroom databases. Of the 57 drivers they discovered, 12 had felony convictions and 17 had main shifting car violations, similar to drunk or reckless driving. Additionally they discovered 63 drivers with both a suspended, revoked or cancelled driver’s license.

It is unlawful in Colorado for individuals to commercially drive passengers if they’ve felony convictions, alcohol or drug-related driving offenses, illegal sexual offenses or main shifting car violations. It is also required that ride-hailing corporations verify the backgrounds of their drivers for such offenses.

“PUC employees was capable of finding felony convictions that the corporate’s background checks failed to search out, demonstrating that the corporate’s background checks are insufficient,” Dean stated. “In different instances, we couldn’t affirm prison background checks have been even performed by Uber.”

The ride-hailing service makes use of an outdoor firm referred to as Checkr to do its background checks. It searches for felonies, violent crimes and sexual offenses over the previous seven years. Most taxi drivers are required to have FBI fingerprint background checks.

Initially, Uber was uncooperative when the CPUC requested the corporate handy over its driver data, the regulator stated. In reality, a $2,500 portion of the positive towards Uber is for the “failure to supply response inside 72 hours of a request by an enforcement official,” which is a civil penalty. 

The CPUC investigators additionally discovered proof that not less than 4 of the penalized drivers would possibly nonetheless be driving for Uber, though the corporate indicated that every one drivers in query had been eliminated. 

Uber did not reply to request for remark past its assertion.

Colorado investigators stated they performed the same inquiry into Lyft final 12 months and located no violations. 

Uber will pay half of the positive throughout the subsequent 10 days to resolve the case or it may well contest it earlier than an administrative legislation decide.

First printed Nov. 21, 12:38 p.m. PT.
Replace, 1:52 p.m. PT: Provides further data from the Colorado Public Utilities Fee.

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