Justice Department Files Lawsuit Against Uber for Overcharging Passengers With Disabilities

Disability discrimination attorney in New York NYAccording to an article published on BBC, Uber is currently undergoing a lawsuit for overcharging people with disabilities. The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed the lawsuit on November 10th, accusing the ride-share company of charging wait time fees to individuals with disabilities who require more time to enter a car. Uber disagreed with these accusations stating that their wait time fees were not specific to passengers with disabilities. The company’s spokesperson further countered the claims by explaining that Uber reimbursed their disabled riders for any wait charges they received. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, claims that Uber violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The attorney general on the case, Kristen Clarke, shared with BBC that the lawsuit intends to show that “Uber cannot penalize passengers with disabilities simply because they need more time to get into a car.”

Discriminatory Allegations against Uber 

Uber’s wait charge policy began in 2016; this essentially requires passengers to pay a “per minute wait time fee” if they are not in the vehicle within two minutes after the driver has arrived. However, passengers who use wheelchairs, walkers, or have other disabilities may take longer to get inside their car. According to the DOJ’s article on the matter, the lawsuit alleges Uber’s violation of the ADA by not including exceptions and more accessibility for disabled passengers in their policy. Clarke added to this sentiment that Uber cannot discriminate against individuals who have disabilities because they, like everyone else, “deserve equal access to all areas of community life.” This is not the first time that Uber has faced discrimination claims. The BBC article mentions two previous lawsuits filed against Uber for discriminatory allegations against passengers with disabilities in separate instances. The first was filed by a blind woman who was refused rides on 14 occasions, while the second was filed by a paralympic man who claimed to have Ubers regularly drive off when noticing his wheelchair. 

Federal Laws against Discrimination Towards Individuals with Disabilities 

There are federal laws that protect individuals with disabilities from receiving unequal treatment from public services. Specifically, the ADA is a federal law that “prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities.'' This law also requires “reasonable accommodation” to be given to individuals with disabilities so that they have “equal access to services, programs, and opportunities." Title II of the ADA particularly addresses public services and transportation, mentioning that people with disabilities cannot be restricted from the “benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity” because of his/her disability. A violation of these laws can be considered discrimination against individuals with disabilities. 

 Seek Legal Assistance Today 

If you believe you have been discriminated against for having a disability, seek legal assistance from the Law Office of Christopher Q. Davis, located in New York City and Livingston, NJ. Contact us today at (646) 430-7930 to schedule a free case evaluation and receive experienced legal counsel.