Uber now approving applications for drivers with certain criminal records

Ride-sharing service Uber is opening the door for more even more drivers to get jobs with the popular company with controversial reforms to its background check.

“There are some really good men and women who are untapped resources – human capital ready, willing and able to go to work if not for having the background issue,” Mark Loranger, Chrysalis President and CEO, said.

Loranger’s non-profit helps low-income job seekers find employment. He is partnering with Uber to let his clients know about the new opportunity.

In order to comply with California’s Proposition 47 – Uber will allow applicants with non-violent and non-sexual criminal backgrounds to apply for a job if they can get their felony conviction dropped down to a misdemeanor through the courts.

“When someone comes out of prison as a society we expect them to become contributing members of society and get back on the straight and arrow and become self sufficient, but how can you do that if you can’t get a job,” Loranger said.

Uber said crimes like check fraud and petty theft wouldn’t be flagged on its background check system, but anyone who has a driver related offense like DUI won’t be eligible.

At the company’s headquarters in Westwood there’s mixed reaction to the new reform from both current drivers and Uber riders.

“You don’t want to ride with somebody in the front that has a criminal record that’s absolutely out of the question,” driver, Usama Fadel, said.

“If it’s a non violent crime they should be able to drive because it’s hard for people with records to get employment,” rider, Max Kim, said. “If Uber allows these people to be hired it kind of gives them a way to get back up on their feet.”

“To do our part, we can make sure people have a fair chance to earn a living with Uber,” Joe Sullivan, Chief Security Officer with Uber Technologies, said in a written statement. “Moreover, as a technology platform, we can focus on safety before, during and after each ride in ways that are more fair and effective than relying on criminal records alone.”

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