Justice Department is suing Uber It is alleged to have violated Americans with Disabilities Act by charging a “waiting time” fee to a disabled passenger who requires more than 2-5 minutes to get in the car.
Prosecutors say the charges violate Title III of the 1990 Act, which prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in public facilities.
A quadriplegic woman felt “angry and upset” after a $ 96 billion company refused to refund fees.
The Justice Department filed a proceeding in the northern district on Wednesday California, Has Uber’s headquarters in San Francisco. We’re asking Uber to change the rules, pay civil penalties, and inflict financial damages on affected passengers.
In a statement provided to the DailyMail.com, Uber called the proceedings “surprise and disappointment.”
The Department of Justice sued Uber on Wednesday for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 by charging passengers with disabilities a “waiting time” fee.
The department is calling on Uber to change the rules, along with civil penalties and financial damages for affected customers.Above, DOJ Headquarters in Washington, DC
According to the company, late fees for riders who “prove” that they are disabled have begun to be exempted, but it has not been clarified how passengers will do so. We also have “lively discussions” with the Justice Department on how to deal with this issue.
Uber began billing in certain cities in April 2016, but on Wednesday Proceedings..
However, the federal government has stated that automated policies can violate ADA. This is because it does not consider passengers.Mobility aids and such devices This is because it requires additional time as a wheelchair or pedestrian that needs to be disassembled and stored in the vehicle, or simply to get in the vehicle.
In one example, the government refers to a woman who is identified only as Passenger A, who uses Uber to enter and exit appointments during a one-year clinical study and rehabilitation program for spinal cord injury at the University of Louisville.
According to the lawsuit, she used the service about 10 times a week from May 2020. She was moving from Miami to Louisville for the program.
A 52-year-old woman headed to the lobby or the front of the building and ordered Uber.
Uber has been the subject of numerous proceedings and protests over accessibility.Above, disability advocates are holding a rally in front of New York City Hall in 2016
A woman identified as Passenger A in a lawsuit on Wednesday said she was charged because it took five minutes to get in the car.Above, a man takes a taxi in New York
When it arrived, her nurse helped her, folded the wheelchair and put it in the trunk. This process takes a total of 5 minutes.
According to Uber spokesman Noah Edwardson, Uber allows most passengers to ride the most popular option, the Uber X in 2 minutes and the Uber Black or SUV in 5 minutes.
The woman noticed the fee in August 2020 and tried to contact Uber via email and Twitter to get a refund, but the fee was automatic and she was only told that Uber couldn’t do anything to prevent it. rice field.
“Passenger A feels like a second-class citizen because Uber refuses to refund or change the waiting time rate policy,” the proceedings said.
It is unknown how much the woman will pay. According to Uber, the average “waiting time” fee is less than 60 cents.
According to Uber, customers can ride Uber X for 2 minutes and Uber Black or Uber SUV for 5 minutes. According to the company, all waiting fees for “certified” disabled passengers are now exempt.
The DOJ is asking the court to change its policy and order Uber to provide ADA training to staff, including drivers who operate as independent contractors in most jurisdictions.
It also seeks unspecified civil penalties, along with “financial damages, including compensatory damages for mental distress and other injuries,” to affected passengers with disabilities.
“This proceeding aims to bring Uber into compliance with the obligations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, but Uber cannot penalize passengers with disabilities just because it takes a long time to get in the car. “We are sending a powerful message,” said the Assistant Secretary of Justice for the DOJ Civil Rights Department. Statement of General Kristen Clark.
“Uber and other transportation service providers need to ensure equal access for all, including people with disabilities.”
As the Department of Justice emphasized in the proceedings, the driver himself does not decide the charges and cannot choose to abandon them.
Uber and Lyft have previously sued the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission over a rule that wheelchair-accessible cars must make a quarter of every trip by mid-2023.
Uber drivers do not set prices and cannot be exempted
The company and the committee settled in 2018, but the committee made a permanent exception for the dispatching company. Politico..
2018 report According to the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, Uber had a 55% chance of matching riders with wheelchair-accessible vehicles.
Lyft got worse, with less than 5% pairing of disabled riders with proper vehicles.
According to the report, the Taxi and Limousine Commission estimates that only 0.5% of Uber’s NYC fleet is wheelchair accessible.
In 2017, the Equal Rights Center sued Uber, but did not mention latency. The center claimed that the company did not have enough wheelchair-accessible vehicles for the Washington, DC fleet. The Verge..
He also claimed that customers with disabilities had longer waiting times and higher fares.
“Once available to wheelchair users, Uber’s transportation services will have life-changing effects for wheelchair users, their ability to work, study, participate in community life, and generally lead a more independent life. May improve, “the proceedings claimed.
March, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the US District Court Rejected Uber’s alleged dismissal of the proceedings stated that the lack of Uber’s accessible vehicle was “considered an act of discriminating against persons with disabilities.”
DOJ sues Uber for charging ‘wait time’ fees to disabled passengers who need more time to get in car Source link DOJ sues Uber for charging ‘wait time’ fees to disabled passengers who need more time to get in car