Economy

Uber hit with $8.9 million civil penalty in Colorado

Uber hit with $8.9 million civil penalty in Colorado

Investigators said they found 57 drivers who should not have been allowed to drive for Uber working in Colorado. The PUC maintains that Uber has allowed "individuals with disqualifying criminal or motor vehicle offenses, or without valid licenses, to drive for the company" in the state.

Uber has been fined almost $9 million for violations of driver qualifications laws by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.

Colorado's investigation found that 12 Uber drivers had felony convictions; 17 had major moving vehicle violations; 63 had driver's license issues and three had interlock driver's licenses, which are needed after recent drunk driving convictions.

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission has issued an $8.9 million civil penalty assessment notice against Rasier LLC, the parent company of Uber. Why? Uber has had a hard year in the face of a federal probe into whether it broke bribery laws, allegations of sexual harassment, and other issues that led the company to bring in a new chief executive and take steps to improve its corporate culture.

Under Colorado law, a Transportation Network Company (TNC) must perform a criminal history record check prior to allowing a person to act as a driver for the company.

The commission's inquiry began in fact after after police in the ski town of Vail alerted officials to an incident in which an Uber driver assaulted a rider.

Uber hit with $8.9 million civil penalty in Colorado
Uber hit with $8.9 million civil penalty in Colorado

When comparing records provided by Uber to information from court databases, PUC staff found Uber had approved drivers with previous felony convictions, major moving violations such as DUIs and reckless driving, and found "numerous instances" of people driving with suspended, revoked or cancelled driver's licenses.

Uber said in a statement to Fortune that it "discovered a process error that was inconsistent with Colorado's ridesharing regulations and proactively notified the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)". "This error affected a small number of drivers and we immediately took corrective action", it said.

In 2014, the New York Times reported that Colorado lawmakers eased background checks for drivers when they legalized ride-sharing companies like Uber.

Last week, two women who said they were sexually assaulted by Uber drivers filed federal lawsuits in San Francisco faulting the company's background checks. "We will continue to work closely with the CPUC to enable access to safe, reliable transportation options for all Coloradans". Nevertheless, after he was released from prison, he became a driver for Uber.

The commission said Uber can pay half of that amount within ten days to resolve the case or it can schedule a hearing and contest the allegations in before a judge.

More news: Are Investors Shying Away from The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)?


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