The Justice Department sued Uber on Wednesday, accusing the ride-hailing company of discriminating against disabled passengers if they need extra time to access and board a vehicle — a claim Uber claimed. denied.
The lawsuit — filed in federal court in San Francisco — argues Uber Practice Charging a fee if customers leave a driver waiting for several minutes is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as passengers with disabilities may need extra time to board or store their wheelchairs or walkers.
The DOJ claims that drivers do not have the discretion to waive late fees, and although the company has refunded the fees to some disabled customers, it has waived others.
The suit cited mobility issues to two unidentified people who faced late fees, including a man with a spinal cord injury who relied on Uber for rehab appointments, and said the additional fees had caused problems. She “felt like a second-class citizen.”
The DOJ asked a judge to order Uber to change its late fee policy, provide ADA training to employees, and pay fines.
in a statement to BusinesshalaUber called the lawsuit “astonishing and disappointing”: the company disputed that its late fee system violates the ADA, and said it refunds fees for customers with disabilities.
Last week, Uber began automatically waiving late fees for passengers who voluntarily certify they are disabled, the company said.