Cutting corners doesn’t get you very far. In fact, in one company’s life cycle, cutting corners has simply made them travel in a circle, and they are finding themselves once again at the center of a huge fine and controversy due to issues with background checks.
For the second time in two years, Uber has been fined a significant amount of money due to poor background check procedures. The first time was a settlement that Uber agreed to pay of about $10 million to settle lawsuits in San Francisco and Los Angeles due to the quality of their background checks. This latest fine is the result of a civil penalty being handed down by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission in the amount of $8.9 million.
This latest fines are violations involving 57 Uber drivers who, by the standards under Colorado law, should have not have been allowed to drive for the company. Individuals were found to have previous felony convictions, DUI’s, DWI’s, driving with suspended, revoked or cancelled licenses in addition to other types of violations. Under Colorado law, a transportation company must perform a criminal background check, which includes driving history before a person drives for them. Drivers with the above charges, as well as other felonies like sexual offenses must not be allowed to drive.
While some drivers were found to have criminal or driving records that should have excluded them from performing their job with Uber, the Public Utilities Commission in Colorado could not confirm that some background checks had even been conducted. In some cases, drivers were found to be using aliases, and were convicted felons that were now using the alias names.
It’s a good lesson to all companies about cutting corners. It may get more people into jobs and save your hiring quota, and it may save some money at the start, but it’s imperative to understand that cutting corners on things like background checks might lead to the types of issues that Uber is currently facing. It also brings to light that organizations must know their local and state laws. Colorado clearly defines their expectations regarding these types of companies. For those companies that miss the mark, be prepared to face what likely might be huge amounts in fines…all for cutting corners.