Uber proposes settlement for guide dog lawsuit

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Uber offers settlement on guide dog class action cylonphoto / 123RF Stock Photo
If you’re going to be in business, you have to follow the rules and the laws. Especially the laws. Uber is stressing that point with its drivers when it comes to its drivers. If Uber drivers don’t allow service dogs in their cars, they’ll be shut out of the kennel. A class action lawsuit filed against Uber in 2014 by the National Federation of the Blind California chapter and three blind people whose dogs had been refused Uber passage, may come to a close with a settlement offer from Uber, as reported on VentureBeat.

At first Uber tried to have the lawsuit dismissed on the grounds that passengers and the company were bound to arbitration and not court action over disputes. The court wasn’t buying it. Recently, a judge told the parties to hurry up and settle it or show up in court. The settlement offer has three parts: first, Uber will advise its drivers of the law and the requirement under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), with email reminders and a pop-up on drivers’ app screens. Uber will also let the Federation test compliance. Finally, Uber will pay the Federation $225,000 over three years.

The settlement offer doesn’t just apply to blind people. Anyone with a service animal, or for that matter an assistance animal, is covered by the law. Uber has agreed to regularly inform its drivers that they are “obligated to transport any passenger with a service animal.” Drivers who do not comply with the policy will be barred from the platform. Uber makes it clear in a message to riders in its website help files , “Please note: all drivers are required by law to transport service animals. If you experience issues using Uber with your service animal, please reach out to us by reporting an issue with your trip.”

The bottom line here is, whether the settlement offer is accepted or not, if Uber drivers don’t heel, they’re let go.


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