Outten & Golden LLP: Lyft, Inc. Accused of Violating Philadelphia “Ban the Box” Law

PRNewswire Outten & Golden LLP
March 15, 2017

Lyft Inc., the national transportation network company, allegedly violated the City of Philadelphia’s Fair Criminal Records Screening Standards Ordinance with its background check practices, the Outten & Golden LLP and Willig, Williams & Davidson law firms said today.

In a complaint filed with the City of Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, Lyft is accused of rejecting a job application of Philadelphia resident Michael White in early 2016 based on information contained in background checks obtained from private “consumer reporting agencies” or CRA.

Mr. White applied for a driver position with Lyft in early 2016. On May 18, 2016, he was denied employment by Lyft, citing information in the background report. Mr. White has a criminal conviction that is nearly 10 years old. The Philadelphia ordinance prohibits most employers from denying jobs to applicants for convictions more than 7 years old.

Ossai Miazad, a partner in Outten & Golden’s New York office, said, “For good reason the City of Philadelphia provides protection against discrimination for individuals with criminal histories who have maintained a clean record for a number of years and are trying to enter the workforce. Employers operating within Philadelphia should adhere to those rules.”

Ryan A. Hancock, of counsel in Willig, Williams & Davidson’s Philadelphia office, said, “Michael White was qualified for the job he sought at Lyft and he has a good work history. He’s been recently employed as a driver for a plumbing supply wholesale company and another transportation company. A proper review of his history, as required by Philadelphia’s ordinance, would have shown him to be a qualified candidate for the job.”

Mr. White seeks an order requiring that Lyft cease and desist the allegedly unlawful practice, injunctive or other equitable relief, payment of compensatory damages, payment of punitive damages up to $2,000 per violation, and payment of reasonable attorneys’ fees.

The case is “Michael White, et al, v. Lyft, Inc.,” before the City of Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations.

Contacts: Ossai Miazad, Outten & Golden LLP, 212.245.1000; and Ryan Hancock, Willig, Williams & Davidson, 215.656.3679.