Federal government issuing UberIt is a discriminatory practice that charges fees to drivers for having to wait to allow passengers aboard their vehicle.
Uber’s “wait time” fees kick in two minutes after a driver arrives, and are charged until the car begins its trip. Uber introduced the fee in some cities, according to the Department of Justice in April 2016. They eventually spread to all 50 states.
Uber’s lawsuit was filed Wednesday before the U.S. District Court for Northern California. The Justice Department claims that Uber has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. It failed to change its fees to accommodate those with disabilities who need more time to drive an Uber.
Uber charged fees for the delay, even though it knew that this was disability-based.
Uber stated Wednesday that it was in active talks with the Justice Department, and was shocked and disappointed at the lawsuit.
“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,” Uber said in a statement.
Uber stated that its policy was to reimburse wait-time fees for disabled riders if they notify the company. Uber announced last week that any disabled rider will automatically have their fees waived.
According to the company, riders pay less than 60 cents on average for waiting time.
“We fundamentally disagree that our policies violate the ADA and will keep improving our products to support everyone’s ability to easily move around their communities,” Uber said.
Uber is being sued by the plaintiff to amend its policy and train drivers and staff. It also wants to pay monetary damages for people who paid wait times fees which were in violation of the ADA. Uber must also pay civil penalties.