People wear protective masks in front of Uber Technologies Inc. headquarters in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, June 9, 2021.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The Department of Justice sued Uber Wednesday, alleging the company charged wait-time fees to customers with physical disabilities.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges the Uber violated Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination by private transportation companies. In Uber’s case, that means charging customers with physical disabilities a fee if they needed more time to get into the vehicle.
The company’s stock dipped around 5% in afternoon trading.
Uber said in an emailed statement it disagrees with the DOJ that is policies violate the ADA.
“It has been our policy to refund wait time fees for disabled riders whenever they alerted us that they were charged. After a recent change last week, now any rider who certifies they are disabled will have fees automatically waived,” an Uber spokesman said.
“Wait time fees are charged to all riders to compensate drivers after two minutes of waiting, but were never intended for riders who are ready at their designated pickup location but need more time to get into the car,” the spokesperson added. “We recognize that many riders with disabilities depend on Uber for their transportation needs, which is why we had been in active discussions with the DOJ about how to address any concerns or confusion before this surprising and disappointing lawsuit.”