The United States Department of Justice sued Uber on November 10, 2011. The DOJ’s complaint against Uber Technologies alleges that the ridesharing company was charging wait time fees to people with disabilities. The DOJ filed the lawsuit in the US District Court for the Northern District of California.
Uber Begins Charging Fees for Wait Times
Beginning in April 2016, Uber started charging its customers wait time fees. The company would begin charging late fees once a passenger took longer than two minutes to get in the vehicle. These fees only occurred in certain cities in the beginning. Eventually, however, Uber expanded the program nationwide.
Essentially, Uber charged riders who were not at the designated pickup location at the appointed time. Or, in other circumstances, penalized passengers that simply took too long to enter a car.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke stated that “People with disabilities deserve equal access to all areas of community life, including the private transportation services provided by companies like Uber.” Ms. Clarke has been the Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division since May 2021.
The Department of Justice sued Uber alleging that Uber violated Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). According to the DOJ, the wait time policy violates the ADA by “failing to reasonably modify its wait time fee policy for passengers” who are unable to get into an Uber car within the allotted two minute window. The ADA prohibits discrimination by private transportation companies like ridesharing companies.
The Department of Justice’s Complaint Against Uber
The DOJ states that passengers with disabilities need additional time to enter a car for various reasons. For instance, many disabled passengers have to use a wheelchair or a walker to get around. These tools can be lifesavers when it comes to movement. But they do not make getting in and out of buildings or vehicles very easy.
Uber’s spokesman has gone on record stating that Uber “fundamentally” disagrees that their policies “violate the ADA.” He went on to state that Uber will continue to improve their “products to support everyone’s ability to easily move around their communities.”
Additionally, Uber contends that company policy is to waive any fees charged to disabled riders. All a disabled rider needed to do was notify Uber of the charge. According to Uber, it will waive late charges of any rider. All a rider needs to do is certify that they are disabled. Then, Uber will automatically waive their late charges.
Uber Will Waive Your Wait Time Fees
If you, a friend, or a relative are disabled and use Uber, you may be entitled to getting your fees waived. Reach out to Uber today through the app and/or help line to request a refund of any waiting fees you incurred.