A new California law that takes effect January 1, 2017 would require drivers who participate with a Transportation Network Company (TNC) like Uber or Lyft to have a criminal background check completed on them (regardless of being an employee or independent. Governor Jerry Brown approved Assembly Bill 1289 on September 28, 2016 it would add new laws to the Public Utilities Code, which regulates TNC’s.
A TNC is defined as “organizations and corporations that provide prearranged transportation services for compensation using an online-enabled platform to connect passengers with drivers using their personal vehicles”, under the law screening would consist of the following:
A multi-state and multi-jurisdiction criminal records locator or other similar commercial nationwide database with validation; and
A search of the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) National Sex Offender Public Web site.
The law would prohibit TNC’s from hiring, retaining, or contracting with a driver who:
Is registered on the USDOJ National Sex Offender Public Website;
Has been convicted of a terrorism-related felony or other violent felonies specified in the new law; or
Has been convicted within the past seven years of misdemeanor assault or battery, a domestic violence offense, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or other felonies specified in the new law.
Regulations set forth in the California’s Investigative Consumer Agencies Act (ICRAA) prohibit third party background screening companies from reporting records of an arrest, indictment, information, misdemeanor complaint, or conviction of a crime that, from the date of disposition, release, or parole, antedates the report by more than seven years. TNC employers should prepare for this new law by revising their criminal background screening process and ensure their third party screening company is providing accurate information.