California Proposition 22 and Employment Screening for Ride Sharing Services

employee screening

Ride-sharing has exploded in popularity over the last decade. Uber reports that it has 209,000 active drivers every quarter.

California’s Proposition 22, which just passed recently, had the potential by either a yes or no vote to deliver massive implications for those who work in ride-sharing and those who use these companies’ services. Ride-sharing company executives have welcomed the passing of the rules as an excellent development for the industry mostly because gig jobs have offered a critical safety net for individuals experiencing economic hardship.

A key element of Proposition 22 relates to background checks and employment screening. These have been critical issues in the discussion around ride-sharing since the inception of the industry. While taxi services all over the US have relied upon fingerprinting of potential drivers, this step has offered two levels of employment screening through the FBI. It reviewed both statewide and nationwide criminal histories. However, some gig providers such as Uber and Lyft in the past only relied on a less broad online method that screened only seven years back and often wasn’t nationwide, as well as wasn’t checking randomly for new infractions or criminal activity.

This less formal screening style has brought about a plethora of incidents that could have potentially been avoided if an in-depth multi jurisdictional and statewide reputable background check service would have been used.

Read on to learn more about Proposition 22 and its implications for employment screening in the ride-sharing business.

What Is Proposition 22?

Proposition 22 aimed to solidify the rules around ride-sharing services. Because it was such a new industry that was so heavily dependent on innovation, it operated in many legal gray areas. California voters approved Proposition 22 with a comfortable majority on November 3, 2020, meaning that both ride-sharing companies and their users enjoy much more clarity on the rules now.

One of the most significant changes the bill brought about was the reclassification of ride-sharing drivers. Before the legislation, they had been being met with California’s AB5, which was intended to protect workers so that they weren’t taken advantage of, especially workers compensation, unemployment benefits, PTO, sick pay, and even the ability to unionize. However, Prop 22 allows ride-hail and delivery drivers to maintain the independent contractor status in California, preceding the new ABC method placed by AB5. This has important implications in terms of taxation, regulation, and payments.

Other than the introduction of better in-depth background checks, Proposition 22 had the following important impacts on the ride-sharing industry:

  • Prohibition of discrimination in the workplace
  • No regulation on when, how often, or how long a driver works
  • Healthcare stipend based on region
  • Minimum earnings guaranteed based on “engaged time.”

If you work in the industry, you should make yourself familiar with all these provisions.

What Does Employee Screening for Ride-Sharing Companies Look Like Now?

Since Proposition 22 came into force, ride-sharing companies need to carry out mandatory background checks on their drivers. They must also ensure that drivers have undertaken safe driving courses.

The mandatory background checks involve examining whether a driver (or potential driver) has a criminal record. This must be undertaken on both a local and national level; it’s not sufficient to be able to say that your driver has a clean record in California. Additionally, the background checks can now be recurring, meaning that it will continue to check on a random basis via arrest or DMV records to ensure that any offenses committed can be found, lowering the potential for “liability” workers on the road.

There is now a mandated zero-tolerance policy for drivers caught working under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A company allowing a driver to continue working after being intoxicated on the job will breach the legislation.

Staying Up to Date With Your Employee Screening Requirements

Employee screening is growing in importance all the time. There is far more information available on individuals in today’s world than there would have been in the past. It makes sense to use this to try to keep the public safe.

This is especially significant in the ride-sharing industry. If ride-sharing were completely unregulated, you wouldn’t know what kind of person you were entrusting your safety to when you climbed into the back of a vehicle. The goal is with proper background screenings; the industry will be much safer.

If you need help carrying out employee screening for your ride-sharing business, or any other industry type, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about our screening and background-checking services.

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