The company is being accused of permitting former criminal convicts for serious felonies to work as Uber drivers and as such possibly endangering its passengers. The lawsuit is brought forth by the city of San Francisco, which announced through the voice of District Attorney George Gascon that it is challenging the way the company checks its driver’s background.
Gascon claims that Uber, while not maliciously hiring former felons, is lying to its customers about the background checks it performs on its drivers. Uber claims that all of its drivers are thoroughly checked and questioned regarding their criminal past, but several cases lately have proved that the company’s checks do have their faults.
Specifically, the San Francisco District Attorney Office is claiming that Uber can not advertise its service like that because it doesn’t subject its drivers to normal fingerprint checks which California taxi drivers are obliged to go through. Since hiring former felons is not a criminal act in itself, as the company is not subject to the same regulation as normal taxi companies, this is the only way to unmask the company’s hiring policies. Uber advertises its background checking process for drivers as “industry-leading”.
The expanded lawsuit brought forth by the office claims that at least 25 drivers throughout the state of California have passed through Uber’s background checks even though they had a criminal history for serious felonies, as such demolishing its marketing claims. A company spokeswoman has retorted by saying that any kind of background check is fallible, and that its checks are by no means lighter than those subjected to normal taxi drivers.
Another app-based transportation company, lesser-known Lyft, also had a similar lawsuit intended against it in California in 2014. After a well-documented case regarding its background check process, the company reached a settlement in which it had to pay $250,000 and also stop advertising its checks as the best industry-wide.
In other news, Uber is continuing its expansion as a worldwide service into central Europe. The Slovakian capital of Bratislava has become the latest of the world’s 331 cities in which the service became available. For the time being, Uber is only present in a pilot period for the next three months, and will continue in the city after assessing the demand for its service there.
Image Source: Daily Mirror