Uber maintains limited control over those who drive for them, requiring only a basic background check to determine whether or not someone is a licensed driver and learn a few facts about their driving and criminal histories. These limitations likely exist to keep Uber from having to claim their drivers as employees so the company can instead continue to consider them as sub-contractors. Uber cannot set schedules or other requirements due to labor laws without acknowledging drivers as employees.
One aspect of the Uber driver requirements is drawing new attention after drivers have committed crimes while performing services for the company. A sexual assault in Boynton Beach, Florida and a murder committed during an UberEats delivery have some regulators wondering whether or not Uber does enough to screen their drivers.
Though the full extent of the Uber background check is known only to the company, enough drivers with spotty histories have passed the check for certain things to be clear. Only felonies seem to be disqualifying, and in some states (including California) even a DUI is not automatically disqualifying if it occurred more than ten years ago. Significant incidents of speeding are also not automatic bars if outside three years.
Uber drivers by definition rack up many more miles than they would if they were not driving for hire. For Uber to certify drivers with any history of dangerous behavior is unacceptable. Significant speeding can cause major accidents or even death, but Uber seems uninterested in keeping those drivers from their company.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in an accident, and an Uber, Lyft, or other ridesharing driver was involved, please consult with a lawyer about your case. An experienced attorney can walk you through the various forms of liability that may be incurred in these difficult cases.