Uber will give people whose felonies have been reduced to misdemeanors a chance to drive

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On Wednesday, the San Francisco company will announce an initiative that could help clear the path for convicted felons whose crimes are reduced to misdemeanors to drive for the ride-hailing platform.

The move could mean a sizable number of new drivers for Uber, a boon at a time when it is rapidly scaling up to meet huge demand and needs as many people behind the wheel as it can get. But it’s also a potential publicity headache for a company that has faced accusations of lax driver screening and reports of unsafe or inappropriate driver behavior.

Under Uber’s long-standing safety policies, drivers who have committed felonies are automatically disqualified from driving for the on-demand transportation company. But its background check process also rules out drivers who may qualify to drive under Proposition 47, a California ballot measure passed in 2014 that reclassifies certain felonies as misdemeanors.

Crimes that can be reclassified include personal use of illegal drugs, shoplifting, writing a bad check and receiving stolen property for which the value does not exceed $950.

The company said it will begin proactively notifying disqualified drivers about Proposition 47 so that if they choose, they can apply to have their cases reconsidered by the court.

Source: LA Times

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