As attorneys continue to ramp up advertisement for their services we have seen an increase in lawsuits against employers. While a lot of these have to do with violations of FCRA guidelines and improper procedures when background checking new employees, some have to do with what happens after a candidate is hired. Recent lawsuits filed against Uber allege the company did not sufficiently check their drivers backgrounds leading to the assault and rape of multiple Uber passengers.
One case in California alleges the company failed to properly screen drivers one whom allegedly later raped a passenger. Another in Colorado filed by the state’s Public Utility Commission fined Uber $8.9 million for hiring drivers who had disqualifying criminal backgrounds or motor vehicle offenses. This case came after an assault on a passenger prompted investigation by the commission. A class action lawsuit filed by two woman who were allegedly raped by Uber driver’s requests an injunction and states:
“Uber has done everything possible to continue using low-cost, woefully inadequate background checks on drivers and has failed to monitor drivers for any violent or inappropriate conduct after they are hired. Nothing meaningful has been done to make rides safer for passengers — especially women. This is no longer an issue of “rogue” drivers who act unlawfully.”
These cases share a common theme, one that Uber has marketed their ridesharing company as the “safe” alternative, neglecting to do the due diligence required to make that statement. The second theme is that employers can be held responsible for failing to do the due diligence on an employee who later harms or otherwise violates the rights of a customer.
Industries like healthcare and securities have a requirement for background screening to protect the clients they serve. While other industries do not have as stringent requirements employers can still be held liable for negligent hiring.
Pre-employment background checks aren’t just a good idea to protect your company and employees but are also a bulwark against individuals who may want to take advantage of or harm your customers. While lawsuits are a definite possibly for negligence, or failing to conduct accurate background screening on your candidates the possibility of a client being harmed in any way is difficult to swallow.
Uber will likely be forced to change its practices but lawsuits like this are not uncommon. As attorneys continue to market heavily to customers and employees who experience loss its important your company has a plan to do your due diligence and hire safe. If you aren’t already a client, take a look at our most popular background check packages with pay as you go pricing.