David Tolmie from Madison, Wisconsin is saying that an Uber driver denied him a ride because of his service dog. Tolmie had made sure to check the policy on animals riding with their humans, which said that medically necessary service animals are allowed, but the Uber driver apparently wasn’t having it.
According to Tolmie, when his driver showed up, he refused to allow the dog into the vehicle. Tolmie had said that the driver was concerned that his service dog, Divit, would scratch up the leather seats.
While talking to local news outlets, Tolmie said that he made sure to check out what Uber’s policy on animal ride-alongs. The website clearly states that service dogs are to be allowed the same reasonable opportunities they would anywhere else under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Non service animals riding along is up to the driver.
“It clearly states that they’ve educated all of their drivers that service dogs are allowed in all vehicles,” Tolmie told news outlets.
Uber has issued the following statement in response:
“We provide our driver community with information on best practices for accommodating riders with disabilities. Our Code of Conduct specifically prohibits any type of discrimination in serving riders with disabilities. Uber also requires driver partners to accommodate service animals in compliance with accessibility laws.”
A spokesperson for Uber even noted that the company has been praised by the National Federation of the Blind for it’s excellent service and accommodations for the disabled. The driver has since been deactivated to show that Uber will not tolerate discrimination for any reason by their drivers.
“We provide our driver community with information on best practices for accommodating riders with disabilities. Our Code of Conduct specifically prohibits any type of discrimination in serving riders with disabilities.”
A spokesperson for Uber noted that they have been praised by the National Federation of the Blind for their excellent service to those with disabilities. Uber has since deactivated the driver, and has reminded the other drivers of their zero-tolerance policy when it comes to discrimination.
After the denial of service, the driver then reported the call for a driver as canceled, which forced Tolmie to have to pay a cancellation fee.
“It was very shocking,” said Tolmie. “I can’t say I’ve ever… I mean, it’s clear discrimination.