Part of the reason for the mass rejection was the state has the ability to dig deeper into a driver's past than companies. “Under Massachusetts law, Lyft’s commercial background check provider, like all consumer reporting agencies, is legally prevented from looking back further than seven years into driver applicants’ histories,” Lyft said in a statement. “The state does not face the same limitation, which likely explains why a small percentage of our drivers failed the state’s background check while passing ours.”
Uber previously agreed to a multimillion settlement following allegations that they misled customers about the thoroughness of their background checks. Nonetheless, the company reacted strongly to Wednesday's news, saying the new rules prevent some drivers from getting work to put their lives on a new path. “Thousands of people in Massachusetts have lost access to economic opportunities as a result of a screening that includes an unfair and unjust indefinite lookback period," Uber said in a statement to the Globe. "We have an opportunity to repair the current system in the rules process so that people who deserve to work are not denied the opportunity."