Completing a prison sentence puts felons in an extremely challenging position.
Not only do they face the general issue of returning to their families and society, but there is the typically overwhelming obstacle of getting a job.
That can seem insurmountable. Where do they turn? How do they succeed?
According to the free Guide to Becoming Employed, there are success stories.
Those who have a goal and the persistence it takes, can get that job. There are employers who will hire felons.
Is Lyft one of those employers who will hire them?
A previous blog post covered the issue of being employed by Uber.
This blog post will address the question of whether felons can drive for Lyft.
- Restrictions on Felons
- Driving for Lyft
- A More Recent Conviction
- Supporting Felons Driving for Lyft
Restrictions on Felons
A prison term poses major restrictions on felons. They lose their freedom and the ability to move about as they want.
For many, this was very important to them prior to being incarcerated. Just being able to leave their house or apartment, get in their car and drive was important to them.
How about now that they are out of prison?
Many will once again hit the road.
For those felons who enjoy driving, there are opportunities for employment in this area.
There are truck driving schools that offer the chance to become certified as a truck driver. That is good for some, but others may prefer a different type of driving job.
When they went into prison, working as a paid driver was typically only available as a truck driver or taxi driver.
Driving for Lyft
Recently, ride-sharing companies similar to taxi companies have sprung up. One of these is Lyft.
The first thought might be that this is an impossibility.
After all, with the restrictions on felons leaving prison and getting a job, why would a ride-sharing company that offers services to the public for transportation want felons?
Aren’t they dishonest and untrustworthy? Isn’t that why they went to prison in the first place?
Wait a minute! Don’t be so quick to assume this is impossible.
A check with Lyft regarding their requirements to become a driver for them shows the qualifications they set forth.
In order to drive for Lyft, applicants must meet certain standards.
First, they must have a valid driver’s license.
Depending on how long their sentence was, and often it was quite lengthy, many felons come out of prison without a valid driver’s license.
Since most felons report to a halfway house for a period of time upon release, one of the stipulations they must meet in getting a job is to obtain a valid driver’s license.
Lyft also states that all applicants must be subjected to a background check.
There’s that dreaded background check again. A certainty to stop a job application.
Another look at Lyft’s requirements state that the background check will cover national and local databases, often including courthouse records.
Applicants will be denied employment with Lyft if a criminal record is discovered which has a conviction in the past seven years for a felony, a violent crime, a drug offense, a sexual offense, or particular theft or property damage offenses.
The stipulation here is that those convictions do not have to be felony convictions, just convictions.
That can seem intimidating, but the key to remember is that any of these offenses must have been within the past seven years.
Again for many felons, their long prison sentence often places their crimes longer ago than seven years.
Maybe there is a break for them here, at least if their conviction is older than seven years.
A More Recent Conviction
How about for those whose conviction was less than seven years ago?
When confronted with having a more recent felony record, it can be extremely beneficial to consider having their record expunged or sealed.
This will remove it from their record and allow felon applicants to be able to state that they have not been convicted of a felony.
Being able to honestly answer this question ‘no’ can give felons that opportunity they need.
Of course, it will also be helpful to pursue a re-entry program if necessary in order to show the efforts they have made toward rehabilitation in returning to society.
Supporting Felons Driving for Lyft
For families of felons in this case, it is important to let your loved one know you are there to support them. Encourage them in setting and reaching that goal essential in their return.
Let them know you care about them and want them to succeed.
It can be the difference between living an honest life or giving up, going back to their criminal friends and ways, and returning to prison again. Don’t let them become another ugly statistic.
What do you think about this blog post? Have you or someone you know tried to get a job with Lyft with a felony? What was that like for them, and what happened? Please tell us in the comments below.