A number of Uber drivers in California have been unable to work because of background check delays. According to Uber, the delays are the result of COVID-19’s impact on local courts.
Ross Tubbs, of Riverside County, spoke with News Channel 3 about his experience with the recent drop in rides. He has been driving for Uber for about a year. When he started back in January 2020, he found the company’s mandatory background check process to be quick and easy. As the pandemic hit, he began taking extra precautions to keep passengers safe, including spraying the seats, seatbelts, and other vehicle components with Lysol.
When it came time for Tubbs’s annual background check, he experienced a major delay in the process. He noticed he started receiving fewer ride requests and one day in January, he could no longer pick up passengers at all. When he contacted Uber about the issue, he was told by a support representative that his background check was still pending due to COVID-related court closures.
Nearly two months later, Tubbs is still unable to drive for Uber. As a result, he has had to file for unemployment and calls Uber support on a weekly basis. Each time he calls, he receives a similar reply. A representative tells him Uber’s specialized team should reach out to him in three to five days’ time, but he never hears anything.
Tubbs is not the only driver experiencing this issue. Joseph Guglielmo, another valley Uber driver, had his account deactivated because of the annual background check. On Uber’s website, the company has posted a notice, saying, “Some reports and activations may be delayed or not be able to be completed by our background check provider until courthouses are able to resume normal business.”
Drivers like Tubbs and Guglielmo, however, did not experience delays with background checks for Lyft. Both Uber and Lyft use the same background check company, Checkr. News Channel 3 reached out to Uber directly; however, the company did not respond to requests about specific local drivers. Instead, Uber said as cities continue to open up, processing times should improve.
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