Uber Claims Disability Laws Don’t Apply To Technology Companies

Uber’s massive fleet of cars don’t belong to the company, and its drivers aren’t employees. Does that mean that they aren’t a public service, as other transportation options are, and that they don’t have to follow federal or state laws that require buses and taxis to accommodate everyone.

You may remember cases where Uber passengers with disabilities have complained about drivers’ treatment of them: one rider complained that her service dog was forced to ride in the trunk, and others have described drivers who simply abandoned passengers at the curb after, the passengers allege, noticing their disabilities.

The Daily Beast lays out the current situation: in the last year, individuals and groups, including the National Federation for the Blind, have sued Uber under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The company has argued that since they’re a technology company that simply provides a platform to process payments and connect riders and passengers. They don’t own the fleet, and drivers aren’t their employees.

Some suggestions that advocates for people with disabilities have made have been that Uber could potentially purchase some vans that can accommodate power wheelchairs, as taxi services do. They could also require training for drivers on how to not be a jerk to people with disabilities. The problem with both of these options is that they require Uber to own vehicles and to require their independent contractors to attend training…both of which would make it seem more like an employer than a technology company that facilitates rides thanks to an invisible army of workers.

Uber: Disability Laws Don’t Apply to Us [Daily Beast]

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