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Uber to Pay Riders with Disabilities in Lawsuit Settlement

Uber to Pay Riders with Disabilities in Lawsuit Settlement

Uber will pay more than two million dollars as part of a legal settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) after the company was accused of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act for imposing wait fees on passengers with disabilities who required extra time to get into Uber vehicles, according to Reuters.

Under the two-year agreement, Uber will automatically waive all wait-time fees for certified disabled passengers, and pay $1,738,500 to over 1,000 riders hit with the discriminatory charges.

“People with disabilities should not be made to feel like second-class citizens or punished because of their disability, which is exactly what Uber’s wait-time fee policy did,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said in a statement. “This agreement sends a strong message that Uber and other ridesharing companies will be held accountable if their services discriminate against people with disabilities.”

The DOJ sued Uber last November after receiving thousands of complaints from disabled app users who were reportedly charged for taking more than a couple of minutes to locate and board their rides. The lawsuit indicates that Uber continued to impose additional fees on those passengers even after the company recognized that people with visual impairments or physical disabilities, such as wheelchair and walker users, among others, may need more time to get situated inside vehicles.

Uber denied the claims and asserted that it had a long-standing “policy to refund wait time fees for riders with a disability when they alerted us that they were charged.” However, company representatives did acknowledge the need to improve accessibility options for disabled passengers across the board.

In total, more than 65,000 Uber passengers who were “charged discriminatory fees due to disability,” will receive some compensation, according to DOJ officials.

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