Drivers are more at risk of physical and sexual assault than individuals in many other professions.
Although taxi drivers often have some protections in place, such as bulletproof glass between them and their passengers, drivers who are classified as independent contractors generally do not have such protections. As a result, their working conditions may be even more unsafe.
Uber, a rideshare provider, recently released findings showing that 3,045 people were sexually assaulted during Uber rides in the U.S. in 2018.
Of the sexual assault victims, 42 percent were the drivers. Although passengers were the victims in the vast majority of rape cases, drivers are more likely to experience "non-consensual touching of a sexual body part."
Anna North "It's not just passengers being assaulted in Ubers. Drivers are at risk, too." vox.com (Dec. 07, 2019).
Commentary and Checklist
All employers are exposed to sexual assault risks from contract and non-contract drivers. Family employers' exposure is heightened if a driver is employed because of the doctrine of respondeat superior.
For safety, security, and other reasons, family employers must establish safe environments, including while traveling.
Sexual assault prevention begins with written policies prohibiting such conduct. Also important is ongoing training and providing safe and effective methods for reporting wrongdoing.
Finally, investigate every allegation of misconduct, and take appropriate remedial actions if misconduct is discovered, including notifying law enforcement if necessary.
Effective hiring is also important. Here are some tips:
· Always preform a criminal background check and safe driving record check.
· Reference checks are a must. If candidates cannot provide recent references, or if their references refuse to cooperate, then you should give preference to those whose references check out positive. It is important that you find past employers that can state the applicant is both a good worker and an honest, moral person.
· On personal references, ask about the candidate's character and listen for any red flags that the candidate might commit wrongdoing.
· Google the candidate. See if you can find blogs by the candidate or images that will shed more light on the candidate's personality and choices.
· Check social websites like Facebook and Instagram. Seeing how a candidate portrays him- or herself outside of the hiring process can be helpful to you in your decision-making.
· If an applicant is untruthful in the job written application, then that is a sign to move on to the next candidate.