Last Updated on 2023-08-01

Does DoorDash Hire Felons? Sometimes - Here's When

We worked with these active, experienced gig-workers to write this article and bring you first-hand knowledge.

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Davis Porter

Experienced writer/researcher in the gig industry working alongside our gig-workers

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Ryan Shaw

5 years of experience as a DoorDash Dasher

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Faith McLaughlin

8 years of experience working across DoorDash, Instacart, Postmates, Uber, and Lyft

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Matt Wheeler

5 years of experience working across GrubHub, DoorDash, Shipt, and Uber Eats

This post is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information contained herein should not be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed attorney or other professional.

A felony is a crime that typically carries a sentence of more than one year in prison, after which you become a “felon”. This is a label that society often views with prejudice, consequently making it difficult for convicted felons to be reintegrated into the workforce.

With DoorDash, you can find a job opportunity that doesn’t require specialized skills, extensive experience, or even a clean criminal record - as long as it's clear that your record is no longer a reflection of who you are today.

Even though DoorDash doesn’t hire everyone, DoorDash may hire former felons based on the nature of the crimes committed, the time elapsed since the conviction, and their background check results.

  • The nature of the felony conviction: Certain types of felonies – such as violent crimes and sexual offenses – will likely disqualify you due to the potential risk they pose to customers and the company's reputation.
  • The duration since the conviction: A considerable length of time since the conviction could suggest behavioral reform and a diminished risk of reoffending. However, DoorDash doesn't outline a specific time frame. It tends to vary according to the severity of the felony.
  • The relevance of the felony to the job role: A felony linked to reckless driving or DUI could be particularly pertinent for a Dasher role. On the other hand, a crime that has no bearing on the responsibilities of a Dasher is less likely to impact the hiring decision.

DoorDash’s official policy on felons

Whereas DoorDash’s policy on hiring felons remains undisclosed to the public, the company is openly committed to maintaining equitable hiring practices. It also complies with all local, state, and federal non-discrimination employment laws. 

However, that notwithstanding, DoorDash’s ultimate priority is to preserve the safety and trust of its customers and employees. As such, each felony conviction is assessed independently to determine how it might influence an applicant's ability to fulfill their job duties and maintain that trust.

Another thing this customer-facing company would never want to compromise is its reputation for safe and reliable services. A history of serious crimes is thus taken to be sufficient grounds for disqualifying an applicant – especially if the felony is related to the job role.

So, in a nutshell, DoorDash does its best to balance its commitment to fair hiring practices with the responsibility of ensuring the safety and trust of its customers and employees. 

It has everything to do with how your background check turns out

As a platform that interacts directly with customers, DoorDash has a duty to ensure that its Dashers are trustworthy and pose no risk. Background checks are what it uses to gauge these attributes. 

The platform commissions Checkr, a third-party company, to run each applicant’s details through national and county-level databases across all 50 states. 

In instances where a background check reports a felony conviction, DoorDash conducts an individualized evaluation, considering the specifics of the felony alongside the broader context. The company pays special attention to the nature of the crime, the time elapsed since the conviction, and the relevance of the felony to the job role, among other factors. 

Then from that, DoorDash makes a decision on whether to qualify or reject the candidate.

Through the entire process, you can log into Checkr’s portal to track background check requests from not just DoorDash, but other employers as well. The platform has separate portals for US-based applicants and their internal counterparts. 

Keep in mind, though, that DoorDash reserves the right to rerun your background check at their discretion. The company will continuously screen your records even after getting hired, just to confirm if you’re indeed upholding its values while Dashing. 

So, you'll be on the hook for maintaining a clean record even after you successfully make it through the application process. 

How far back into your history records does DoorDash go? 

The duration that DoorDash's background checks cover is generally defined by the "seven-year rule” – which is founded on the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). It limits the timeline of your past criminal records to 84 months.  

But, there are some exceptions to this rule – which may extend that timeline based on the type of crime, jurisdiction, and circumstances surrounding your case.

For example, convictions for grave crimes – like murder or sex offenses – could remain in your background report indefinitely. Such felonies are treated as significant markers of an individual's character and trustworthiness.

Some states additionally have laws that allow background checks to stretch beyond seven years. A case in point is California, where if an individual is projected to earn an annual salary exceeding $125,000, convictions of up to 10 years old can be reported. 

Types of felonies that’ll disqualify your DoorDash application

There are certain felonies that are likely to raise red flags in your DoorDash job application: 

  • Violent Crimes: Records of violent felonies such as assault, battery, or homicide may suggest a possible propensity for unpredictable behavior. This could be problematic in a role that requires consistent interaction with customers and restaurant staff.
  • Theft and Burglary: Since Dashers handle customers' orders and gain access to their premises, a history of theft or burglary poses questions about their integrity at work. 
  • Fraudulent Acts: Felonies such as identity theft or credit card fraud highlight potential issues of dishonesty and deceit, traits incompatible with a service rooted in trust
  • Sexual Offenses: Crimes like sexual assault or offenses involving minors raise serious ethical and safety concerns about the suitability of an individual in a customer-facing role.
  • Drug Trafficking: A felony conviction for drug trafficking points towards potential engagement in organized crime and might be seen as a risk factor.
  • Weapons Charges: Felonies involving illegal possession or use of weapons could indicate a potential threat to public safety.
  • Hate Crimes: Felonies associated with hate crimes point to prejudice and bias, traits that starkly contradict DoorDash's principles of inclusivity and respect for all customers.
  • Arson: Felonies associated with arson may indicate a disregard for the safety and property of others.
  • Stalking or Harassment: These felonies raise concerns about an applicant's capacity to respect personal boundaries.
  • Driving Offenses: Driving-related felonies, such as DUI or reckless driving, cast doubt on an applicant’s ability to safely perform the job.
  • Moving Violations: Just as the name suggests, moving violations are offenses committed by drivers while their vehicle is in transit – speeding, hit-and-run, tailgating, texting while driving, you name it. Getting involved in more than three of them over the preceding three years is unacceptable by DoorDash’s traffic safety standards. 

Conversely, DoorDash may overlook your conviction records for less relevant crimes such as:

  • Public Order Offenses: Such as disorderly conduct, panhandling, and trespassing. 
  • Financial Crimes Unrelated to Fraud: Like illegal gambling, insider trading, and tax evasion. 

Do this before applying to improve your chances

There are proactive steps you can take before applying to significantly improve your chances of getting hired by DoorDash.

  • Understand the Nature of Your Felony: The more you understand about your felony and how it might be viewed by DoorDash, the better prepared you'll be to address it in your application. The specifics to focus on include the type of felony, the time elapsed since your conviction, and the relevance of the felony to DoorDash’s job role.
  • Get Your Criminal Record Expunged/Sealed: If you can formally prove that your record is no longer a reflection of yourself today and get the court to expunge or seal it, you won't have to prove your rehabilitation again with DoorDash.
  • Participate in Rehabilitation Programs: In cases where expungement or sealing is not possible, demonstrating rehabilitation directly to DoorDash may help them that you’ve learned from your past mistakes and are committed to leading a law-abiding life. You can go for anger management classes, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), or substance abuse treatment programs.
  • Volunteer in Relevant Roles: You also gain work experience and positive references by volunteering in a role that does not require a background check. You could otherwise get yourself into one of the many job skills workshops for individuals with felony convictions.  The resultant experiences and references can attest to your job skills, work ethics, character, and reliability.

Instances when DoorDash may hire a felon

A felony conviction in your past doesn’t automatically disqualify an applicant from becoming a Dasher. 

DoorDash, in its commitment to fair hiring practices, has been known to extend opportunities even to individuals with a criminal past. 

Here are some of the instances when DoorDash may proceed to hire a felon:

  • Inconsequential Felonies: Although DoorDash doesn't definitively outline what will and will not disqualify someone for being hired, it’s a safe assumption that – to a certain extent – they are concerned with things that could potentially create a problem for the company, or tarnish their reputation with customers. If the felony conviction is not directly related to the duties and responsibilities of a Dasher, there’s a chance that it might be overlooked. DoorDash may be more inclined to hire the applicant. For instance, a tax evasion offense, while serious, may not be seen as a direct impediment to an applicant's ability to deliver food safely.
  • First-Time Offenses: DoorDash might opt to hire you if your felony was a one-time slip-up and you've been on your best behavior ever since. They may view it as an isolated incident rather than a pattern of recurrent behavior. 
  • Evidence of Rehabilitation: The company recognizes that people can change over time. As such, it may be open to working with past felons who can demonstrate that they have successfully rehabilitated. The evidence can be in the form of certificates for completing rehabilitation programs, a steady employment history, character references, etc. 
  • Job-related Skills: DoorDash may also hire felons who demonstrate exceptional job skills despite their felony conviction. You need to show previous experience in a similar role, positive references from past employers, or a strong interview performance. 
  • Expunged Criminal Records: This legal procedure removes or hides a conviction from your criminal history. It’s granted when a court reviews your petition and confirms that you’ve met all the requirements. 

Will DoorDash hire someone with a misdemeanor?

Unlike felonies, misdemeanors are lesser offenses with lighter punishments. They include petty theft, public intoxication, minor drug possession, and traffic violations.

Consequently, an applicant with a misdemeanor on their record generally stands a higher chance of being considered for a Dasher role. Such offenses pose fewer risks to customers and the general public.

That notwithstanding, however, the impact of a misdemeanor on the hiring decision can still vary depending on the circumstances of the crime and the applicant.

What to do if your DoorDash job application is declined

If your application is declined, DoorDash will provide you with a copy of the background check report they used to make their decision. You have a 30-day window to review this report and dispute any inaccuracies you find.

In California, you could get that copy even sooner. The state’s laws compel Checkr to share it with you at the same time as DoorDash receives theirs. 

That said, the appeal process for everyone is the same. You should submit a formal request for reconsideration to DoorDash, along with any supporting documentation that may strengthen your case. Remember to  attach any evidence that you might have of rehabilitation, character references, or inaccuracies in the background check report.

If your appeal is genuine, you just might get another shot at becoming a DoorDasher..

There’s no harm in trying an application

There’s only one way to verify if you’re truly eligible. Just take the leap and start your application. You never know – the platform might see a dedicated service provider in you. 

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