[NFBWATlk] Justice Department Sues Uber for Overcharging People with Disabilities - U.S. Department of Justice - November 10, 2021
humberto_avila.it104 at outlook.com
Mon Nov 15 18:56:06 UTC 2021
Hello All, and Good Morning.
I am glad that our federal government is taking up this issue; it has
been such a loooooooooong time coming, honestly.
I personally have seen the so called "wait times" issue in several
instances where I have gotten into an Uber. Me and the driver are paying
tag, phone tag, walky-talky and so many other unnecessary and silly
games just so that I can be seen and I can safely board the nice car
while at the same time I would get home and I would see the receipt for
my uber trip and its associated and inequitable "wait time charges."
I have also seen "accessibility fees" come up in my account.
Specifically, when I lived in Tacoma, Uber had a thing where it would
charge me two bucks just for riding in that city, presumably either
because it wanted to tax the city for overall access and inclussivity
policy or because I told the driver I was blind and needed to know
whether the driver was. (I wouldn't be surprised frankly if it turns out
to be the latter the case).
Here hoping the U.S. Justice dept. puts the odds in our favor, for the
Federation and for many others,
JAWS Certified, 2022 <https://freedomscientific.com/training/certification>
NVDA Certified Expert <https://certification.nvaccess.org>
On 11/15/2021 10:37 AM, Nightingale, Noel via NFBWATlk wrote:
> Justice Department Sues Uber for Overcharging People with Disabilities
> Office of Public Affairs
> U.S. Department of Justice
> November 10, 2021
> The Justice Department today filed a lawsuit against Uber Technologies Inc. (Uber) for charging "wait time" fees to passengers who, because of disability, need more time to enter a car. Uber's policies and practices of charging wait time fees based on disability have harmed many passengers and potential passengers with disabilities throughout the country. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges that Uber violated Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination by private transportation companies like Uber.
> In April 2016, Uber began charging passengers wait time fees in a number of cities, eventually expanding the policy nationwide. Wait time fees start two minutes after the Uber car arrives at the pickup location and are charged until the car begins its trip.
> The department's complaint alleges that Uber violates the ADA by failing to reasonably modify its wait time fee policy for passengers who, because of disability, need more than two minutes to get in an Uber car. Passengers with disabilities may need additional time to enter a car for various reasons. A passenger may, for example, use a wheelchair or walker that needs to be broken down and stored in the car. Or a passenger who is blind may need additional time to safely walk from the pickup location to the car itself. The department's lawsuit alleges that, even when Uber is aware that a passenger's need for additional time is clearly disability-based, Uber starts charging a wait time fee at the two-minute mark.
> The lawsuit seeks relief from the court, including ordering Uber to stop discriminating against individuals with disabilities. Additionally, the department asks the court to order Uber to modify its wait time fee policy to comply with the ADA; train its staff and drivers on the ADA; pay money damages to people subjected to the illegal wait time fees; and pay a civil penalty to vindicate the public's interest in eliminating disability discrimination.
> "People with disabilities deserve equal access to all areas of community life, including the private transportation services provided by companies like Uber," said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. "This lawsuit seeks to bring Uber into compliance with the mandate of the Americans with Disabilities Act while sending a powerful message that Uber cannot penalize passengers with disabilities simply because they need more time to get into a car. Uber and other companies that provide transportation services must ensure equal access for all people, including those with disabilities."
> "Uber's wait time fees take a significant toll on people with disabilities," said Acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds for the Northern District of California. "Passengers with disabilities who need additional boarding time are entitled to access ridesharing services without discrimination. This lawsuit seeks to assist people with disabilities to live their lives with independence and dignity, as the ADA guarantees."
> If you believe you have been a victim of disability discrimination by Uber because you, or someone you were traveling with, were charged wait time fees, please contact 833-591-0425 (toll-free), 202-305-6786, or send an email toUber.Fee at usdoj.gov<mailto:Uber.Fee at usdoj.gov>. For more information on the ADA, please call the department's toll-free ADA Information Line at 1-800-514-0301 (TDD 800-514-0383) or visitwww.ada.gov<http://www.ada.gov>. For more information on the Civil Rights Division, please visitwww.justice.gov/crt<http://www.justice.gov/crt>. The complaint can be viewed here.
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