RSG173: Fighting False Background Checks for Uber and Lyft Drivers

In this episode, I chat with Larry Smith, Managing Partner at SmithMarco, P.C. There are a lot of positives to the gig economy, but of course I also hear a lot from drivers who are having issues with gig work. One thing that comes up the most? Unfair deactivations! Luckily, that’s what Larry and his firm specialize in: helping drivers who have been unfairly deactivated. Specifically, we’ll talk about what his firm specializes in, what he sees the most often in unfair deactivations for gig workers, and the types of people he works with.

Listen to this episode on your phone here.

Intro to Larry Smith

  • Consumer attorney
  • Managing Partner at SmithMarco, P.C., which he established in 2005
  • People who protect consumer rights
  • Consumer-facing areas of the law

Gig Work Background Checks

  • Can’t even log in as a driver without a background check – Checkr
  • Frequency of background checks is increasing – one person was getting checked 4 times a year!
  • Understandable since gig work used to be Wild West
  • Background checks with false information

Types of Cases SmithMarco Sees

  • Across all platforms!
  • “Got the wrong person” – people who have the same names who are confused with each other
  • Not having an updated file
  • Misreading a record

What Happens if You’ve Been Deactivated?

  • If it’s a background check issue, you’ll get a copy of your report and it will tell you why
  • Key is to not panic – Checkr will be the one that resolves this
  • Especially if it’s a case of mistaken identity, this is easily fixable
  • Contact SmithMarco and they will sit and figure it out with you

How New vs Long-Time Drivers Handle Background Check Issues

  • People who’ve passed background checks in the past but recently failed are far angrier
  • Drivers are angry about Checkr catching the issue, or about a false report
  • Need to figure out why, and what the damages are


  • Thanks to Larry for coming on the podcast!
  • Background check failures for false information are a smaller part of the unfair deactivation segment, but drivers have the most recourse here
  • Larry’s fees are covered, too, by the companies

Show Notes