2019Transportation Network Companies

Lyft Announces Adoption of Continuous Background Checks for Drivers

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On April 15, 2019, Lyft Inc. – a popular transportation network company (TNC) serving more than 600 U.S. cities – announced in a post on the Lyft blog two new features to enhance the safety and security of the TNC’s platform: continuous background checks and enhanced identity verification of its drivers.

Lyft Continuous Background Checks

The blog post entitled “Lyft’s Commitment to Safety” stated the “safety of the Lyft community is our top priority” and that Lyft has “worked to design policies and features that protect both drivers and riders. Our goal is to make every ride – in a car, on a bike, or on a scooter – safe, comfortable, and reliable.”

The Lyft blog post stated that all Lyft drivers must pass a criminal background check before giving a ride. In addition, the blog stated that the continuous background checks would require “all active drivers to pass another background check at least every 12 months” in order to remain on the Lyft platform.

Lyft has expanded the background check process to include continuous background checks to provide a daily monitoring of active drivers and immediate notification of any disqualifying criminal convictions. Any driver who does not pass annual and continuous screenings will be barred from the Lyft platform.

Lyft also announced an enhanced identity verification process “combining driver’s license verification and photographic identity verification to prevent identity fraud on our platform.” Potentially fraudulent drivers will be required by Lyft to provide evidence that they are carrying the approved driver’s license.

In April 2018, Lyft’s main competitor Uber announced the company would strengthen its background checks. In a blog entitled ‘Getting serious about safety,’ Uber Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dara Khosrowshahi wrote that Uber would strengthen its driver screening with annual background checks.

In July 2018, Uber began performing continuous background checks on some of its drivers in an effort to improve safety for its riders following a CNN investigation found at least 103 drivers working for Uber in the U.S. “have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing their passengers in the past four years.”

The CNN investigation of police reports and court records for 20 major U.S. cities found and as many as 31 Uber drivers “have been convicted for crimes ranging from forcible touching and false imprisonment to rape.” CNN found 18 cases of Lyft drivers being accused in the past four years with four convictions.

Employers have been slow to pick up the trend of continuous background checks, as only 4 percent of 6,500 HR professionals said that their organizations perform continuous screening on their employees, according to a survey conducted in July 2018 and released by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) offers a complimentary whitepaper entitled “What to Do if Your Employee Gets Arrested. Eleven Steps to Consider” to help employers. To learn more, visit www.esrcheck.com/Tools-Resources/Whitepaper-Library/What-to-do-if-employee-gets-arrested/.

ESR Continuous Background Checks

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check provider – offers continuous background checks that can be a critical component of any company’s post-hire screening hiring program. To learn more, please visit www.esrcheck.com/ESR-Solutions/Post-Hire-Background-Checks/.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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