Uber will Pay $1.1 Million to Blind Woman after Experiencing Discrimination with Drivers

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In 2014, Uber was sued for discriminating against blind people and their guide dogs. After two years and with a $2.6 million settlement, the company agreed to change its regulations regarding the issue. However, an additional $1.1 million will be paid after a blind woman claims that she missed work, her birthday celebration, Christmas Eve church services, and was even left in the dark, in the rain, and other unfortunate instances all because Uber drivers refused to carry her and her dog. 

These were all 14 different occasions – and all happened after Uber finalized its 2016 settlement. 

“Uber allowed drivers who discriminated against disabled riders to continue driving without discipline,” an arbitrator concluded this week (via The San Francisco Chronicle).

This line from the arbitrator’s report is also worth considering: “When Uber did conduct an investigation, its investigators were trained, in some instances, to coach drivers to find non-discriminatory reasons for ride denials, sometimes even to ‘advocate’ to keep drivers on the platform despite discrimination complaints.”

Lisa Irving, the woman behind all of these circumstances, isn’t a sudden millionaire because of the claims. The arbitrator awarded her $324,000 in damages, while the rest ($805,313) is going to legal costs. 

Chronicle reported that Irving spoke to them about her dog and her memories of discrimination, including where one driver did pick her, however, got angry about her service dog in the car and even threatened to leave them on the side of the road. 

Irving claims she was rejected at least 60 times. 

Uber now has a dedicated support form for issues with service animals. “Was a service animal denied?” is the very first question. Here’s Uber’s service animal policy.