The United States Justice Department sued ride-sharing business Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N) on Wednesday
Alleging that it overcharged people with disabilities, and asked a federal court to require the company to comply with a federal law that protects the disabled from discrimination.
The Justice Department’s lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, targets Uber’s April 2016 policy of charging passengers “wait time” fees, a practice that began in several cities and was later expanded nationwide.
It claims that the policy discriminates against persons with disabilities, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, by requiring disabled people, such as the blind or those who use wheelchairs or walkers, to wait more than two minutes to board an Uber car.
In a statement, Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said, “People with disabilities deserve equal access to all aspects of community life, including private transportation services provided by corporations like Uber.”
“This action seeks to bring Uber into conformity with the Americans with Disabilities Act mandate while sending a strong message that Uber cannot penalize passengers with disabilities just because they require extra time to get into a car.”
The agency is asking the court to require Uber to change its wait time fee policy and to compensate customers who have been charged illegal fees.