Uber to pay over $2 million to users with disabilities

Uber has agreed to pay more than $2 million to users who claim they have been discriminated against because of their disability.

As part of a deal with the Justice Department announced Monday, the San Francisco-based company has agreed to waive waiting times for users with disabilities as well as compensation for customers who are not provided. the option to give up the former.

The Justice Department alleges that Uber violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by making users pay a fee if it took them more than two minutes to contact their Uber driver. The lawsuit argues that this makes disabled users feel like “second-class citizens”.

“Ensuring equal transportation access for people with disabilities is an important goal of the ADA,” said US Atty. Stephanie M. Hinds said in a press release. “This agreement removes that barrier to equal access for passengers with disabilities and provides a compensation mechanism for those harmed by Uber’s previous waiting time fee policy.”

As part of the deal, Uber will add credit to the accounts of more than 65,000 users who signed up for the waiver program and refund them double what they were initially charged. This number alone could reach hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, according to the newsletter.

Uber will also pay $1,738,500 to more than 1,000 users who have complained about the policy. An additional $500,000 will be paid to someone else.

“We are delighted to have reached this agreement with the Department of Justice and look forward to continuing to help people move easily around their communities,” said Carissa Simons, an Uber spokeswoman.

The lawsuit, filed in November 2021, targeting Uber’s timeout policy, was brought in April 2016.

The lawsuit alleges that Uber failed to amend its wait time policy for passengers who needed more time to get to their vehicle because of a disability, the news release said.

Right before the lawsuit was filed, Uber set up a program that allowed users to waive waiting time.

“It has long been our policy to refund waiting time to riders with a disability when they notify us that they have been charged, and before this matter was filed, we made make changes so that any driver who shares a disability will have Simons speak.

The lawsuit details the case of a 52-year-old quadriplegic woman in Florida who typically requires about five minutes to get in a car. She used Uber about 10 times a week to get to her recovery appointments and was constantly being charged for waiting time.

Another plaintiff is a 34-year-old man with cerebral palsy. Given that he mainly uses a wheelchair to get around, it took him more than two minutes to get into a vehicle. He felt “angry, frustrated, and annoyed when he learned that Uber had charged him for his waiting time because of his disability.”

According to Uber, the average passenger waiting time fee in 2020 is 60 cents. Although the lawsuit admits that the fees themselves are often less than a dollar, the plaintiffs argue that it points to broader discrimination by the company.

Users can now request a refund or waiver through the company’s website.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-07-19/uber-to-pay-over-2-million-in-settlement-to-users-with-disabilities Uber to pay over $2 million to users with disabilities

Edmund DeMarche

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