In Focus: Thousands of Drivers Fail New State Background Checks in Massachusetts

By Roy Maurer Apr 7, 2017

​More than 8,200 drivers for ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft were let go after failing a new state background check, according to newly released records.

A 2016 law requires ride-hail drivers in Massachusetts to undergo state-run employment screening, which goes back further than the seven years of records checked by the companies.

The state reviewed the criminal and driving records of nearly 71,000 drivers who had already passed reviews by the companies, and rejected 8,206—about 11 percent.

(The Boston Globe)

Sex Offenders, Violent Histories Found

The most common reason drivers were rejected was for having a suspended license on their records. More than 1,500 drivers had "a history of violent crime," while 51 drivers were deemed to be sex offenders by the state.

The added checks also found that over 1,000 drivers had "multiple serious driving offenses."

Similar to the company checks, the state law calls for screening back seven years for violations such as reckless driving, license suspensions and less serious violent crimes. But state checks search back many more years for more serious offenses, such as sex crimes, more serious violent crimes, and drunken driving that results in serious injury or death.


Background Checks for Gig-Economy Workers

Screening gig workers, contractors and freelancers is one of several evolving trends this year.

Human resource professionals also have to adapt to the growing ban-the-box movement, which prohibits asking about criminal records until a conditional job offer has been made.

(SHRM Online)

When Screens Turn Up Criminal Records

It's important that HR know how to correctly conduct background checks and comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, especially when criminal records are revealed.

(SHRM Online)

Screening Vendors Are Not All Alike

The stakes for choosing a background-screening provider have always been high, but now that decision looms larger than ever. As laws governing background checks constantly shift, regulatory oversight expands and the ranks of applicants misrepresenting themselves grows, selecting a vendor to conduct background screens of your candidates assumes greater weight.

(SHRM Online)

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