VanAntwerp Attorneys, LLP
Phone: 606-618-0698

Keeping customers both safe and satisfied

As Uber and Lyft have become common fixtures in the ride-hailing industry, regulations governing these types of businesses have struggled to keep pace. In addition, high-profile news stories of drivers accused of kidnapping, rape and murder have created serious image problems that impact both reputations and revenues.

Last year, Massachusetts passed what many consider the most stringent rules governing Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing companies. Gov. Charlie Baker claimed that the new law has established a national standard in speeding up the background check process for prospective drivers.

The two-pronged process encompasses a selected background check provider conducting a multi-state search of criminal and driving offenses combined with checking the national sex offender website. Drivers that passed "phase one" then underwent a state background check that includes a lifetime look-back for violent felonies, serious driving offenses, and sex abuse convictions.

Since implementation, more than 10 percent of Uber and Lyft drivers failed the required background check. Out of the more than 62,000 drivers who work for one for both companies, 8,200 fell woefully short.

Figures released earlier in the month revealed that the largest number of drivers were rejected because of suspended licenses. Many had serious driving offenses on their criminal records. Specific numbers reveal more than 300 applicants with felony criminal records and 51 registered sex offenders who wanted to join either or both companies.

In spite of the troubling data, Uber believes the investigations are too strict and denies drivers access to economic opportunities. A Lyft spokesperson claims that their background check provider is legally prevented from a look-back beyond seven years.

Kentucky passed similar laws in 2014 requiring insurance coverage, vehicle inspection and driver background checks for companies like Uber and Lyft.

A business' reputation is perhaps its most valuable asset, particularly when it comes to how they treat their customers. Protecting that coveted property requires proactive steps to ensure customer safety.

If you need assistance in determining regulations that impact your company, the attorneys at VanAntwerp Attorneys, LLP are available to assist you with that process.

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