Discount Background Checks? Why You Should Be Concerned About Uber's Policy

Discount Background Checks? Why You Should Be Concerned About Uber’s Policy

Background checks are one of the most basic tools in a hiring manager’s arsenal. If you do a job that involves interacting with children, operating heavy machinery, using a weapon, or being trusted with government secrets, the person hiring you needs to know that you are free from a criminal background. But what happens when the background check is incomplete or does not cover the most important aspects of a person’s past?

A Look at Background Checks

Background checks can be conducted with varying levels of scrutiny. In order to have a top secret security clearance, the last 10 years of your life and work history are examined including your financial history, your personal history and any foreign contacts you may have. On the other end of the spectrum, it is possible to have a background check that is limited to verifying your name and social security number. Jobs that require operating heavy machinery or taking the lives of other people in your hands tend to fall somewhere in between. These background checks may include verification of:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Address
  • Any criminal history including any arrests made for DUI or suspicion of DUI
  • Any parking tickets or moving violations

Generally, this type of background check involves taking fingerprints and running them through a federal and state criminal database meant to identify those who have been arrested for or convicted of crimes.

The Financial Cost

Rideshare apps rely on independent contractors to drive customers from point A to point B. This means none of the drivers that you hire on an app are actual employees of the rideshare app. Instead, they are independent contractors. This means they can work for more than one rideshare company and in the process maintain their own vehicles, pay their own benefits and taxes, and work at other jobs.

While this is a relatively inexpensive way to have a large network of drivers, it also means several people who apply to be drivers either do not complete the process, drive for a short period of time or only drive periodically. In the end, rideshare companies like Uber would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on background checks for independent contractors that would ultimately not drive for the company. Instead, Uber opted to conduct a basic background screening that did require fingerprints or checks with the federal criminal database. These less expensive checks ultimately saved the company large amounts of money.

Unintended Consequences

There was one problem with doing cut-rate background screenings. Drivers with criminal charges began to fall through the cracks. Suddenly, riders were at risk getting behind the wheel with someone who had a warrant out for their arrest, who had a history of DUI, or who had spent time in jail. In the end, more than 25 drivers were found to have criminal backgrounds after Uber’s initial screening failed to identify them.

If you have been injured or assaulted by a rideshare driver, contact the lawyers at The Elan Law Firm to discuss your case.