Lyft Settles Disability Discrimination Claims With Justice Department
Lyft is agreeing to change its ways after being accused of denying rides to people with disabilities in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Under a settlement reached this week with the U.S. Department of Justice, the ride-sharing service will update its policies to ensure that people using foldable wheelchairs and walkers have equal access to rides.
The company said it will notify new drivers and regularly remind current drivers about the revised policies and create an educational video.
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The resolution is the result of an investigation launched after a man who uses a wheelchair filed a dozen complaints with Lyft indicating that Los Angeles-area drivers either treated him rudely, refused to drive him or could not transport him because of his wheelchair, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
Lyft has agreed to implement a complaint procedure that adheres to federal law and hold drivers responsible for complying with its wheelchair policy “with punishment including possible termination.” Riders who make “plausible complaints of discrimination” will see their charges refunded and receive a $10 credit under the arrangement with the Justice Department.
In addition, Lyft will pay between $4,000 and $30,000 in damages to the four individuals with disabilities whose complaints led to the settlement and the company will pay a $40,000 civil penalty to the government.
Lyft will also issue biannual reports to the Justice Department over the next three years outlining its efforts to comply with the ADA.
In the settlement, Lyft denied being subject to the ADA, discriminating against any of the complainants as well as any wrongdoing.
“We’re glad that through this agreement, we will continue improving our policies and making it easier for people with foldable wheelchairs and other collapsible mobility devices to get around using Lyft,” a company spokeswoman said in a statement. “Lyft is committed to maintaining an inclusive and welcoming community, and we’re proud that many people with disabilities who were previously underserved by existing transportation options now use Lyft as a reliable, safe and affordable way to get around.”