October 16, 2018, Victor Fiorillo - Philly Magazine
We hear a lot these days about how hard it is for someone leaving prison to reenter society and get a job. Well, it’s been literal decades since Philadelphia resident Kendall Reese walked out of jail, and he’s still running into problems.
You see, Reese was recently fired from his job as an Uber driver, all because of a criminal record that starts and ends in the 1980s.
Think about that. The 1980s. Cell phones were gigantic and scarce. The American public still watched Space Shuttle launches in awe. And an aged pop-culture figure had made it all the way to the White House. OK, OK, so maybe not everything has changed. But still: it was a long, long time ago.
But not long ago enough for Uber, apparently.
Reese began driving for Uber in 2017. In order to work for Uber, he had to pass a background check, which he did. But then in April of this year, amid horror stories about crimes committed by Uber drivers against passengers, Uber announced a big new safety campaign, which included reruns of Uber driver background checks on a regular basis. And when Reese’s number came up in May, he failed the new check.