Lyft Will Run Comprehensive Background Checks

September 04, 2018
The rideshare company, like many on-demand businesses, has established stronger background screening policies.
Backgrounds Online | September 04, 2018

The rideshare company, like many other on-demand businesses, has established authoritative background screening policies.

What Led To This Decision

The necessity for comprehensive and ongoing background checks has become a newsworthy topic. We’ve seen national stories about major companies like Home Advisor and Uber not having sufficient background screening policies. This can cause people to wonder if it is safe to utilize the services of such companies.

Rideshare provider Lyft is in a similar spotlight.

A Lyft driver name Vilchez Lazo was recently arrested in San Francisco. He is charged with raping four women whom he allegedly lured into his vehicle under the pretense that he’d been assigned to pick them up. Lazo was not on duty at the time so he was not supposed to drive any customers. Therefore, Lyft would have no record of him providing rides to these passengers.

Following an investigation, it was revealed that Lazo has been living in the country illegally. He is currently in jail and could be sentenced to life in prison. If Lazo is released, then the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency hopes to deport him back to Peru.

Lyfts “Enhanced Detection Process” For Background Screening

According to a Lyft spokesperson, Lazo "fraudulently represented himself" when he applied for a driving position. Per company policy, Lazo authorized and passed a background screening. The background check package that was used for him and other drivers, however, is said to be a quick, minimal check of a few databases. It would not provide enough information to show that Lazo wasn’t eligible to be hired as a contractor.

Lyft agreed to step up and run more comprehensive background checks on their applicants. They also agreed to run annual screenings on active contractors to see if anyone who works/contracts for them incurs a new conviction of which they should be aware.

Kate Margolis, a Lyft spokesperson, offered the term Enhanced Detection Process when talking about the company’s new background screening policies. She did not provide additional information on what they would include.

Background Checks For Every Industry

Businesses that offer on-demand services have an obligation to their customers to thoroughly screen every employee and contractor. While this is the case for every industry, people who work for on-demand industries are likely to have direct and frequent access to the public. They may drive customers, enter their homes or have access to personal data.

Every business should run background checks and consider annual screenings for all employees, volunteers and contractors. This helps the employer create and maintain a safe workplace, protect the public and show they are performing due diligence.

What Are Your Screening Policies?

If one of your employees committed a crime, would you be able to show you took reasonable precautions to ensure the person was safe and qualified before hiring them? Running background checks is an ideal way to demonstrate that you are taking steps to only hire people who are safe and eligible.

If you need help creating background screening packages that are perfectly suited for every type of position in your business, then please contact us. Our team of experts is adept at learning about your hiring and screening needs and then putting together fully customized solutions for you.