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Transportation Businesses The Almighty Buck

Uber Fined $8.9 Million In Colorado For Allowing Drivers With Felonies, Motor Violations To Work (jalopnik.com) 108

Uber has been fined by a Colorado regulator on Monday for nearly $9 million, after an investigation revealed that 57 people with criminal and motor vehicle offenses were allowed to drive with the ride-hailing company. Jalopnik reports: States across the U.S. have been considering laws to require additional background checks for individuals who drive for Uber and competitors like Lyft. In Colorado, the state's Public Utilities Commission investigated the company's drivers after an incident this past March, reported The Denver Post, when a driver dragged a passenger out of a car and kicked them in the face. The commission said it found 57 drivers had issues that should've disqualified them from driving for Uber, including felony convictions for driving under the influence and reckless driving, while others had revoked, suspended or canceled licenses. A similar investigation was conducted on Lyft, the Post reported, but no violations were revealed. An Uber spokesperson said the situation stems from a "process error" that was "inconsistent with Colorado's ridesharing regulations." The spokesperson said Uber "proactively notified" the commission. "This error affected a small number of drivers and we immediately took corrective action," the company said in a statement to the Post. "Per Uber safety policies and Colorado state regulations, drivers with access to the Uber app must undergo a nationally accredited third-party background screening. We will continue to work closely with the CPUC to enable access to safe, reliable transportation options for all Coloradans."
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Uber Fined $8.9 Million In Colorado For Allowing Drivers With Felonies, Motor Violations To Work

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  • Felonies (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RazorSharp ( 1418697 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @06:41PM (#55599273)

    There's no incentive for someone, once convicted of a felony, to cease committing crimes when the only places that will hire them are Taco Bell and McDonald's. That's why our prison system doesn't reform people, it just makes them even worse criminals. The law should work the other way: it should be illegal to discriminate against people for past transgressions unless they clearly disqualify the individual, such as a child molester working at a daycare.

    It would seem that something as basic as being an Uber driver should be available for most former criminals. I mean, I get the people who don't have drivers licenses are a problem, but why should you have a spotless record to be an Uber driver?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      So a rapist/molester/abuser/violent person that may be alone in a car with someone is less risky than a molester at a daycare? IS that the point being made here?
      • So a rapist/molester/abuser/violent person that may be alone in a car with someone is less risky than a molester at a daycare? IS that the point being made here?

        Obviously, there are exceptions.

        But there is no sane reason why a convicted weed grower shouldn't be able to drive an uber

        • by lucm ( 889690 )

          a convicted weed grower

          Isn't this story taking place in Colorado?

        • Without a full criminal background check, how do you know? You basically are letting in everyone, some of whom may be violent. Nor do I see any such breakdown in the article, so I have to believe some are violent.
      • So a rapist/molester/abuser/violent person that may be alone in a car with someone is less risky than a molester at a daycare? IS that the point being made here?

        Not all felonies involve violence.

      • IS that the point being made here?

        Obviously not or you wouldn't be asking.

    • > it should be illegal to discriminate against people for past transgressions unless they clearly disqualify the individual

      The problem is... pretty much every felony 'clearly disqualifies' you from pretty much every job. Violent acts, sexual assaults, and major thefts top the list of felonies, and I can't imagine any employer wanting someone who is known to solve problems with violence, might rape a co-worker, or might steal as an employee. I can see ignoring a DUI for a job that doesn't involve drivi

      • Re:Felonies (Score:5, Insightful)

        by duke_cheetah2003 ( 862933 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @07:05PM (#55599443) Homepage

        The problem is... pretty much every felony 'clearly disqualifies' you from pretty much every job. Violent acts, sexual assaults, and major thefts top the list of felonies, and I can't imagine any employer wanting someone who is known to solve problems with violence, might rape a co-worker, or might steal as an employee. I can see ignoring a DUI for a job that doesn't involve driving, though. Perhaps there are other obvious exceptions.

        There are no exceptions. A felony conviction is a mark you carry to your grave. Doesn't matter to an employer, could be money laundering, or embezzling, or any other non-violent white-collar crime. Felony is a felony. There is no distinguishing between rapists and embezzlers and fraud. It's all the same. You're fucked, there's no exceptions. And as long as society continues to treat anyone who made a mistake as a permanent criminal.. it won't change. This is what society wants, criminals to be outcasts and never reintegrate into society in a constructive manner. It's almost like they want felons to keep to their criminal behavior, since all legitimate work is cut-off.

        Knowingly writing a bad check is a felony, just as example of just how petty a crime can be to brand you as an outcast for life.

        • And as long as society continues to treat anyone who made a mistake as a permanent criminal.. it won't change.

          It's not like committing a felony is the same as Steve Urkel doing something, and then saying "Oops! Did I do THAT?".

          Felonies generally do not occur as the result of a mistake. Intent is a large part of the requirement for most felony convictions.

          • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

            It's not like committing a felony is the same as Steve Urkel doing something, and then saying "Oops! Did I do THAT?".

            Nah, it's more like you're being obnoxious. No one is saying that crime shouldn't be punished, that's a willfully obtuse straw man. The point is that if you're going to treat people as pariahs after their time has been served, you're just begging for more crime to be committed. You deny a convicted meth dealer any and all employment - just what do you think he's going to do to make a livin

            • Nah, it's more like you're being obnoxious. No one is saying that crime shouldn't be punished, that's a willfully obtuse straw man. The point is that if you're going to treat people as pariahs after their time has been served, you're just begging for more crime to be committed. You deny a convicted meth dealer any and all employment - just what do you think he's going to do to make a living, slick?

              That's kind of the point: their time is never completely served; they're not allowed to vote, they're not allowed to own a gun.

              And they could start their own business if they couldn't get a job.

              They're not handling money for my business.

              • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

                That's kind of the point: their time is never completely served

                So you are making the return to meth dealing the best option for the convicted meth dealer. Saner countries [huffingtonpost.com] actually rehabilitate people, as opposed to the U.S. which prefers to be tough rather than effective on crime.

                "Treat people like dirt, and they will be dirt. Treat them like human beings, and they will act like human beings."

                they're not allowed to vote

                Why. I've never seen anyone articulate a reason for why convicts shouldn't be able to v

          • Felonies generally do not occur as the result of a mistake. Intent is a large part of the requirement for most felony convictions.

            I would be very surprised if anything less than about 90% of the population has committed a felony at some point, possibly not even realising it. When I worked at the DOJ there was a stupid number of people in prison for shit they didnt even realise was a crime at the time.

            • I would be very surprised if anything less than about 90% of the population has committed a felony at some point, possibly not even realising it. When I worked at the DOJ there was a stupid number of people in prison for shit they didnt even realise was a crime at the time.

              Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

        • During the last recession any arrest at all disqualified you from even being interviewed. That included misdemeanor arrests as well. And they did not give a hoot if charges were dropped or you were found not guilty. As soon as you checked the box asking if you were ever arrested you were a done deal.
      • In California it's a felony to harass Bigfoot, Sasquatch or other undiscovered subspecies.
        http://www.dumblaws.com/law/19... [dumblaws.com]
        "Sorry, but if you hadn't bothered that sasquatch we might have a job for you."
        • That's a stupid law on so many levels. This reminds me of another stupid law.

          A guy gets a hunting license for a polar bear and goes hunting. As much as people scream and yell about the poor poor polar bears they are actually quite numerous and many licenses to hunt them are issued in the USA, Canada, and other nations. There are endangered bear subspecies that share territory with the polar bears, and hunting them is a crime. So, this hunter sees this huge white bear out on the snow and shoots it. When

      • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

        It obviously depends on the state's definition of felony DUI, but at least in mine, and some of the other local states, a felony DUI would be a reasonable reason to disqualify from most jobs, in the sense that it'd be pretty safe to assume that person is going to be working drunk quite a bit.

        • > a felony DUI would be a reasonable reason to disqualify from most jobs, in the sense that it'd be pretty safe to assume that person is going to be working drunk quite a bit.

          Assuming a confirmed period of sobriety and a lack of addiction-related criminal behaviour (like stealing to support a habit, or getting violent when under the influence) I would be OK with hiring a recovering addict. I'd even be enthusiastic about giving them a second chance if they had a parole obligation to go for drug testing p

          • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

            Good point, I agree entirely.

            And where I've worked we've definitely hired some (with over 50% good stories and the bad stories not so bad (for the business)).

            The problem is knowing these things on a cold hire.

            It's one of the areas where small business is quite important and I suspect under valued by politicians (that seem to only value small business as a talking point ).

          • There's lots of jobs where being drunk on the job will result in bad performance. There's other jobs where being drunk on the job is likely to kill people. One of these categories is better for people with felony DUI convictions.

    • I hear Instacart is always looking for someone.
    • Re:Felonies (Score:5, Insightful)

      by duke_cheetah2003 ( 862933 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @06:59PM (#55599409) Homepage

      Nailed it. Felonies should not be a death sentence, but they are. You cannot find work, cannot vote, cannot participate in government. You're basically an outcast for the rest of your life. Best move to another country and hope your criminal record doesn't come along for the ride. Felony conviction in the USA is a permanent punishment. You will never have the same rights as a non-felon. Ever. Trust me on this one, I know, I am a felon, I did something stupid 30 years ago, and I'm still fucked over.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mrbester ( 200927 )

        If you cannot vote, you cannot participate in the democratic process. Why pay taxes, then? "No taxation without representation" was a corner stone of that little shindig that occurred 250 years ago.

        • If you cannot vote, you cannot participate in the democratic process. Why pay taxes, then? "No taxation without representation" was a corner stone of that little shindig that occurred 250 years ago.

          That was just a catchphrase.

      • Nailed it. Felonies should not be a death sentence, but they are.

        Nailed something, but the entire thread is highly off topic. These people aren't disqualified for some general felony, they are disqualified for felonies that disqualify them specifically from driving, e.g. DUI. To be perfectly frank if you can't help yourself but driving drunk then you shouldn't be driving at all, let alone driving someone else professionally, .... and I use that term very facetiously.

    • wow, uber is definately hard up for drivers hiring felons.
    • by Ken McE ( 599217 )

      why should you have a spotless record to be an Uber driver?

      The problem is that your serious criminals tend to be habitual offenders. Crime is partly a habit, partly a state of mind, and partly a matter of opportunity. Giving them a target rich environment is unreasonable.

      • why should you have a spotless record to be an Uber driver?

        The problem is that your serious criminals tend to be habitual offenders. Crime is partly a habit, partly a state of mind, and partly a matter of opportunity. Giving them a target rich environment is unreasonable.

        Fortunately for them there's more money in robbing people than driving for Uber

      • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

        The problem is that your serious criminals tend to be habitual offenders.

        Maybe because they are kept in total poverty and treated like shit after their sentences have been served. You take a convicted meth dealer and deny him employment - just what do you think he's going to do to make a living?

    • to cease committing crimes when the only places that will hire them are Taco Bell and McDonald's

      Funny... those establishments won't hire felons. You tick that felony conviction box, if it's seen, application goes into the trash.

    • by bws111 ( 1216812 )

      Did you stop reading before you got to the part where they said what the felonies were? Felony DWI and reckless driving. Are you really trying to say you should be allowed to drive people with those on your record? For those to be felonies you either killed someone or committed the violation several times.

    • Right about here:

      unless they clearly disqualify the individual

      Basically, who's to say what clearly disqualifies somebody? I've seen it pointed out several times that just about any serious crime should probably disqualify somebody from being alone in a tiny, high speed vehicle that probably has the ability to control whether the passenger leaves or not (child locks). And that's before we start talking about whether someone with a history of DUI/DWI should be allowed to drive professionally.

      I'm genera

      • by Strider- ( 39683 )

        Basically, who's to say what clearly disqualifies somebody? I've seen it pointed out several times that just about any serious crime should probably disqualify somebody from being alone in a tiny, high speed vehicle that probably has the ability to control whether the passenger leaves or not (child locks). And that's before we start talking about whether someone with a history of DUI/DWI should be allowed to drive professionally.

        Ok, lets say you're someone who's been convicted of Fraud. You made the mistake, paid the price, done your time, and are now released. Why should something like that prevent you from driving for Uber, or doing other tasks that do not have fiduciary responsibility? Same thing, let's say you were caught with a big bag 'o weed in your late teens and went up the river. You've grown out of that, cleaned up your act, etc...

        At some point there needs to be a way for someone to get their life back on track. It shoul

      • I've seen it pointed out several times that just about any serious crime should probably disqualify somebody from being alone in a tiny, high speed vehicle that probably has the ability to control whether the passenger leaves or not (child locks).

        Why. Statutory rape is a serious crime but it has nothing to do with driving. Which was the parent poster's point. There's no reason a convicted statutory rapist can't work in a bank, and there's no reason someone convicted of bank fraud can't work at a daycare.

    • Uber accepted me as a driver. I am not driving for them, but apparently I could if I wanted.

      From the summary it seems like they got in trouble for having drivers with vehicle related felonies.

    • The real problem being that there are innumerable number of things that should not be felonies in the first place.

    • "Bad Uber, bad! Those deplorables are supposed to starve in the street like dogs. How dare you give them honest, useful employment!"

      - the juridicial oligarchy

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      There's no incentive for someone, once convicted of a felony, to cease committing crimes when the only places that will hire them are Taco Bell and McDonald's. That's why our prison system doesn't reform people, it just makes them even worse criminals. The law should work the other way: it should be illegal to discriminate against people for past transgressions unless they clearly disqualify the individual, such as a child molester working at a daycare.

      It would seem that something as basic as being an Uber driver should be available for most former criminals. I mean, I get the people who don't have drivers licenses are a problem, but why should you have a spotless record to be an Uber driver?

      As much as I agree with your point that former criminals shouldn't be heavily restricted from working, there are certain restrictions that are prudent. Some jobs are just not suitable for ex-cons, these are usually ones where the worker can be put in dangerous situations with members of the general public, or worse yet, underage (which is why we have a working with children check in the UK). Taxi driver is one of those jobs as it requires you to deal with often rude and obstinate members of the public whils

    • The first Uber Driver with a Knife my change your mind....

    • It's a bad headline, but the summary explains. These are driving-related felonies. I know this is Slashdot and you aren't going to read the article, but please read the fine summary.

    • Perpetual punishment is hardly a constitutional practice. In a way a convict who has completed his sentence should be considered as good as anyone else. On the other hand if we adopt that idea we create another wrong. Suppose you have two job applicants that are so close to perfect that it is hard to find any fault at all in their life history. Bother were honors students with awards for academic and athletic prowess. Both graduated from top universities with honors in difficult fields of interest. Y
    • TFS did refer to felony convictions for reckless driving and DUI. Those are quite relevant for driving people around.

  • by WillAffleckUW ( 858324 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @06:41PM (#55599275) Homepage Journal

    That will teach them.

    NOT.

    You want change?

    Jail the Uber execs.

  • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @06:43PM (#55599293) Journal
    Joe Sullivan, the recently dismissed chief of security and a former federal prosecutor (formerly employed by the Facebook) has been at the center of much of the decision-making that has backfired on Uber this year.

    No Lee Iacocca, his reign begins to resemble a Marissa Mayer salvation.

  • Is that a crime? Anyone know?
  • I just want a fucking ride. Both parties are being tracked by phone. If Uber was a felon's place to do damage we would be seeing bad things happening every day.
  • it legitimizes their business. What they should be fined for is skirting minimum wage laws and mis-classifying employees as contractors. This is more or less the exact opposite of that.
  • Whenever something bad happens there's always someone that says, "There should be a law against that!" Well, we can't bubblewrap the world. There's just some things that the law cannot fix.

    Beating people up is still illegal. So, there is already a law against offering someone a ride, then dragging them from the vehicle, and kicking them in the face. The connection to some ride share app is pretty tenuous. The whole point of services like Lyft and Uber is that it's a cheaper ride because they did away w

    • If we make a law that ride sharing services have to run background checks then prices will go up.

      Except uber and lift aren't sime magical "ride sharing service": you don't get t ocall something new simply because it's organised throught the internet.

      They're taxi services where you can use the internet to book a taxi.

      Just because "on the internet" comes in somewhere, doesn't make them magically exempt from the last 150 years of laws on taxis.

    • Seriously! Would you operate a machine tool with the safety features disabled?
    • Are you saying that a taxi company should hire people with driving felonies on their record? Or do you think that a person with numerous DUI convictions should get a job as a professional driver? In this case, the government has requirements that the taxi companies screen such people out. Why do you consider that unreasonable?

      One of the reasons the market economy works is that goods are required to be of reasonable quality. If I buy a gallon of milk, I need to know, without doing my own research, tha

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