Uber was ordered to pay a total of $ 1.1 million in a lawsuit filed by a passenger against the company. The reason is the lack of support from drivers of the platform who refused to race her, who is a blind person, and the guide dog that accompanies her.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the American Lisa Irving had at least 60 races refused when the driver arrived to pick her up and saw that she would also have to take Bernie, the trained labrador that accompanies her.
When she was left without a ride, Lisa missed several appointments until she found other runs – including doctor’s appointments, the birthday party itself and a Christmas Eve celebration at church.
On some occasions, the drivers were aggressive and threatened to leave her in the middle of the street because of the animal’s presence.
Aid provided by law
Country-specific legislation, the Americans with Disabilities Act, enables visually impaired people to have guide dogs as companions, including when transporting vehicles. On Uber’s support page, there are very clear rules stating that, “in accordance with current accessibility laws, service animals must be accommodated”. Problems can be reported when filling out a special form.
In all, the American will receive $ 324,000 in damages, with the rest of the amount (about $ 805,000) being used to cover the legal costs of the lawsuit.
In 2016, the company had already struck a $ 2.6 million deal after allegations of discrimination against people with guide dogs and promised to change policies at the time.
The Uber side
Uber initially refused an agreement and tried to defend itself against the accusation by citing that it is not responsible for any discriminatory behavior on the part of drivers – unless it is required by law, the company does not consider them as its employees, but partners of platform.
After the conviction, she took a different position committing herself to the cause.
“We are proud that Uber technology has helped people who are blind to find and get races. Drivers using the Uber app are expected to assist passengers with companion animals and comply with accessibility and other laws, and we regularly promote education for drivers about this responsibility “, says the company.