Uber has now started allowing more people who have non-violent criminal history to become drivers in California. According to the Wall Street Journal, the ban is lifted on some certain non-violent and non-sexual offenders who were flagged earlier when Uber had done a background check. Offences like petty theft and check fraud are some of the offences that the service is planning to overlook.
The company believes that this initiative will increase the chances of such people getting employed, as otherwise, they have a hard time finding it, even if they have completely turned around the way they live.
Joe Sullivan, Uber’s chief security officer, commented on this initiative, “We should all be in favour of giving everyone a fair chance.”
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It is, however, yet not stated if this new policy will be extended outside of California. Another part of this initiative is that Uber will send the drivers who have been screened and rejected due to felony conviction an email that will educate them of the law under California’s Proposition 47, a 2014 initiative that reclassifies certain drug felonies and thefts as misdemeanors. The company will still maintain the blanket ban on the felony convict, but they will consider those people who are able to reduce their conviction.
Moreover, they will also make plans to refer felony convicts to a non-profit organization which is dedicated to helping former inmates with jobs and skill training so that they have a better chance at employment and turning around their lives.
Sulivan also stated that this initiative will not have any dramatic effect on Uber’s potential drivers, as fewer people will fall under the criterion that they have laid for eligibility. Though, it can’t be denied that now, Uber will have a wider pool to select their drivers from, and this will definitely improve and be positive for its growing fleet.