Uber Will Pay Over $2 Million to Disabled Riders After Charging Them With Waiting Fees, and It Might Have to Pay Millions More
Uber reached a settlement with the DOJ agreeing to pay over $2 million to affected riders.
Uber has reached a settlement with the Department of Justice meaning it will pay over $2 million to disabled riders after it charged them with waiting fees.
Uber's waiting time fee policy means if you take longer than two minutes to begin your journey after your car arrives, the company charges you per minute the driver has to wait. The rate varies based on location, according to Uber's help page on the policy.
The DOJ sued Uber over the policy in November 2021 saying it discriminated against disabled people who might need additional time to get into a car.
The DOJ said in a press statement Monday Uber would compensate over 1,000 riders who got in touch to complain about being charged wait fees from a settlement pot of $1.7 million.
A draft complaint notice attached to the settlement agreement said that these 1,000 people who complained would get a minimum of $600 each from Uber. The pot divided among roughly 1,000 would mean each person could get up to approximately $1,700.
The DOJ also said $500,000 would be distributed among "other harmed individuals identified by the department." It did not specify how many people it had identified.
It added that Uber agreed to credit the accounts of over 65,000 rider accounts for "double the amount of wait time fees they were ever charged."
While the DOJ didn't put a precise figure on how much money this would cost Uber, it could amount to "potentially hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in compensation."
"People with disabilities should not be made to feel like second-class citizens or punished because of their disability, which is exactly what Uber's wait time fee policy did," Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said in the DOJ's press statement.
An Uber spokesperson told Insider: "We're pleased to have reached this agreement with the Department of Justice, and look forward to continuing to help everyone move easily around their communities."
"It has long been our policy to refund wait time fees for riders with a disability when they alerted us that they were charged, and prior to this matter being filed we made changes so that any rider who shares that they have a disability would have wait time fees waived automatically," they added.
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