Uber Sued for Discriminating Against Convicted Drug Runner

Uber is being sued by a job applicant claiming that the transportation giant discriminated against him by denying him a position because he had previously been incarcerated for his involvement in a massive drug-running operation.

Edgar Colon applied for a driver position with Uber in July 2017, according to the complaint. Colon claims he “possessed all the skills and equipment necessary to fill the position and meet . . . Uber’s employment requirements.”

After running a background check on Colon, Uber denied his application because of his previous conviction for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. Colon claims that his “criminal history has no direct relationship to any of the job duties which would be required for a [d]river position with . . . Uber.”

An indictment naming one “Edgar J. Mendez-Colon” can be found on the DEA website.

New York law prohibits denying a license or employment to someone who has been previously convicted of one or more criminal offenses. An exception to this exists where “[t]here is a direct relationship between one or more of the previous criminal offenses and the specific license or employment sought or held by the individual.”

Colon claims that he has paid his debt to society and has been rehabilitated and is now “an upstanding citizen of New York.” He also claims that, having been punished for his crime, he is now deterred from committing additional crimes.

Since no direct relationship exists between his previous conviction for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and the requirements of a job as an Uber driver, Colon argues that Uber is violating New York law.

Colon is represented by Christina Giorgio who brought the case in the Southern District of New York.