Uber Reaches Settlement With Blind Passengers After A Lawsuit Over Service Animals

Uber has agreed to educate its drivers about their legal obligation to accommodate passengers with service animals.

Credit: The Odyssey Online

Credit: The Odyssey Online

Uber announced Friday that after a year of discussion with the National Federation of the Blind, the two groups reached a settlement where Uber agreed to educate its drivers about their legal obligation to transport passengers with service animals.

The National Federation of the Blind filed the lawsuit on behalf of blind people and others who have been discriminated against because they have a guide dog. These passengers claimed that Uber drivers denied them rides upon finding out the passenger had a guide dog, told them the dog would have to ride in the trunk, or charged cancellation fees when it was the driver who refused the ride.

The lawsuit was filed after the Federation found that drivers refusing rides to those with service animals was a violation of federal and state laws that protect people with disabilities from being discriminated against.

Uber has agreed to educate its drivers about their obligation to accommodate passengers with service animals and will implement reminders on the app for drivers. They will also send out periodic email reminders and enhance its response system for complaints related to discrimination against those with guide dogs.

Credit: Shutterstock

Credit: Shutterstock

The ride-sharing company will add a service animal policy to their contract and make it clear that anyone who doesn’t comply with the policy will be barred from using the Uber platform. It will only take a single complaint about a driver to terminate their employment with Uber.

Additionally, Uber must pay the National Federation of the Blind $225,000 over 3 years and the Federation will monitor Uber’s compliance with the settlement over several years.

Mark A. Riccobono, the President of the National Federation of the Blind, said in a statement on Saturday,

“Access to reliable and effective transportation is critical to the ability of blind people to live the lives we want. Uber and similar services can be a great asset to the blind when they are fully and equally available to us.”

The settlement has been submitted to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and is awaiting approval.

This is a great step forward for people with disabilities, as they can now feel safe and comfortable with using Uber when they are in need of transportation like everyone else.

What do you think about this new development for Uber drivers and disabled passengers? Please comment on, like, and share this article!


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