Apr 6, 2017

8,000 Uber/Lyft drivers fail MA background check

Richard Vogel / AP

More than 8,000 drivers have been fired from ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft after failing Massachusetts' new state background check, per the Boston Globe.

The state dug through the criminal and driving records of roughly 71,000 drivers who had passed preliminary reviews, and found that hundreds of drivers had serious crimes on their record, including violent or sexual offenses, while others had been found guilty of drunken driving or reckless driving. The state deemed those who failed unfit to continue as drivers for the companies, and pulled them off the road.

The defense: Uber and Lyft have both pointed out that they are limited by state law to checking just the last seven years of an applicant's history. And while Lyft said only "a small percentage of our drivers failed," Uber argued that the unlimited reach of the government's background checks is unfair to drivers who are trying to move on from their past.

Why this matters: The findings led MA to pull thousands of drivers off the road. Their crackdown could pave the way for other states to issue similar background checks, and raise the standards on who can work for ride-hailing companies.

Go deeper

Updated 56 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. cities crack down on protesters

The scene near the 5th police precinct during a demonstration calling for justice for George Floyd in Minneapolis on Saturday. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Major U.S. cities have implemented curfews and called on National Guard to mobilize as thousands of demonstrators gather across the nation to continue protesting the death of George Floyd.

The state of play: Hundreds have already been arrested as tensions continue to rise between protesters and local governments. Protesters are setting police cars on fire as freeways remain blocked and windows are shattered, per the Washington Post. Law enforcement officials are using tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse crowds and send protesters home.

Journalists get caught in the crosshairs as protests unfold

A man waves a Black Lives Matter flag atop the CNN logo during a protest in response to the police killing of George Floyd outside the CNN Center on May 29. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage / Getty Images

Dozens of journalists across the country tweeted videos Saturday night of themselves and their crews getting arrested, being shot at by police with rubber bullets, targeted with tear gas by authorities or assaulted by protestors.

Why it matters: The incidents show how easy it can be for the media to entangled in the stories they cover, especially during a time of civil unrest.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Clashes erupted between police and protesters in several major U.S. cities Saturday night as demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the country.

The big picture: Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.