Rideshare Companies in the Hot Seat for Screening Practices

Transportation service giants Uber and Lyft have faced a fair share of attention related to their drivers. Buckley v. Uber claim both rideshare companies failed to comply with federal background check laws.  A driver that worked with both companies recently filed a complaint in the Eastern District of New York on August 27, 2021.

The complaint alleges Uber and Lyft, along with their screening provider, Checkr, failed to comply with certain requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). More specifically, it alleges that Uber and Lyft failed to follow the FCRA’s “pre-adverse action” requirements.

What Are the Pre-Adverse Action Requirements?

If using a background report for employment purposes, before taking any adverse action based in whole or in part on information in the background report, employers are required to provide the candidate with:

1. A notice that includes a copy of the background report

2. A copy of the FCRA Summary of Rights

Providing these documents gives the candidate a chance to review what was found in their background report. Then, if they believe there was an error in the background report, the candidate has the ability to dispute the information.

Accusations Against the Rideshare Companies

According to the complaint, driver Donald Buckley had been an Uber driver beginning in 2018.  In April of 2021, a background report was ordered by Uber regarding Buckley. Later that month, Buckley “received notice from Uber that there was an issue with his background check. [Buckley] was unable to continue working for Uber with an incomplete background check…”

Regarding his employment with Lyft, the complaint states that Buckley was a Lyft driver beginning in 2019.  In June2021,  Buckley “received an email communication from Lyft stating that they were unable to complete his annual background check and that additional information was needed. Plaintiff was unable to continue working for Lyft with an incomplete background check.”

The complaint alleges that Uber and Lyft, prior to taking adverse action against him, failed to provide Buckley with either:

  • A copy of his background report
  • A written description of his rights under the FCRA

The complaint also contains various additional allegations against Uber and Lyft’s background screening provider, Checkr.

Buckley is seeking damages from all three of the defendants. Of course, the allegations against Uber, Lyft, and Checkr remain allegations at this stage in litigation.  Verified Credentials will attempt to provide updates on this case as they become available.

Planning a Roadmap to Adverse Action

The case against Uber and Lyft is a good reminder to employers about their obligations under the FCRA. Employers that use background reports for employment purposes may want to develop a clear plan if they are thinking of taking adverse action based in whole or in part on information from a background report. Learn more about Verified Credentials’ tool to help employers fulfil FCRA pre-adverse action and adverse action requirements. Work with your legal team to create a plan for your situation.




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