Service Animal Policy (Canada)
UPDATED NOVEMBER 13, 2017
Canadian laws prohibit driver-partners using the Uber Driver App from discriminating against riders with service animals, including by denying them service. As explained in Uber’s Non-Discrimination Policy, driver-partners who engage in discriminatory conduct in violation of their legal obligations will lose their ability to use the Driver App.
What is a Service Animal?
A service animal is an animal that helps an individual with that individual’s disability. (Disabilities can be visible or non-visible—you can’t always tell who has a disability.)
There are two ways for an animal to qualify as a service animal.
First, an animal is a service animal if it can be easily identified as one. For example, the service animal wears a harness or a vest, or is obviously helping the individual with their disability.
Second, the individual may have a document confirming the animal is a service animal, like a health professional’s letter that the animal is needed due to a disability; a government-issued service-animal card; or, in Québec, a certificate from a service-animal training school.
If the animal is not easily identifiable as a service animal, a driver-partner may ask the individual to show their confirming document.
Legal Obligations of Driver-Partners
Driver-partners have a legal obligation to provide service to riders with service animals.
By virtue of their written Services Agreement with Uber, all driver-partners using the Driver App have agreed to comply with the law. If a driver-partner refuses to transport a rider with a service animal because of the service animal, the driver-partner is in violation of the law and is in breach of their agreement with Uber.
Consequences for Refusal to Transport a Rider with a Service Animal
If Uber determines that a driver-partner knowingly refused to transport a rider with a service animal because of the service animal, the driver-partner will be permanently prevented from using the Driver App. Uber will make this determination in its sole discretion following a review of the incident.
If Uber receives plausible complaints on more than one occasion from riders that a particular driver-partner refused to transport a rider with a service animal, that driver-partner will be permanently prevented from using the Driver App, regardless of the justification offered by the driver-partner.
There may be very rare circumstances where, because of a driver-partner’s membership in a group protected by human rights legislation, carrying a service animal would be an undue hardship. Uber will not permanently prevent the driver-partner from using the Driver App if (a) the driver-partner has written evidence, like a doctor’s or cleric’s letter, dated before the incident and confirming that they belong to a group protected by human rights legislation and how carrying the service animal is an undue hardship, and (b) the driver-partner (i) arrived at the rider’s location rather than cancelling the request, (ii) got the rider, or helped the rider get, another ride without delay, (iii) waited with the rider until the rider was safely aboard the other ride, and (iv) promptly told Uber of the incident through this link. However, driver-partners may still be liable to civil and government penalties for refusing service.
How to Report a Service Animal Complaint
If a rider has an issue related to their service animal—including issues regarding ride cancellations, harassment, or improper cleaning fees—the rider can report the issue to Uber.
To file a complaint from the Uber Rider App, navigate to the “I Want To Report A Service Animal Issue” complaint screen, which is available through both the trip details screen and the account menu button.
To file a complaint from the Uber website, select the “I Want To Report A Service Animal Issue” link or the “Help” link on the Uber website.
Once a rider submits a service animal complaint, Uber’s specialized support team will investigate the issue and take appropriate action in accordance with Uber’s Services Agreement and this Service Animal Policy.
Rights of Riders with Service Animals
Riders cannot be denied service because they travel with a service animal. A rider will be refunded any trip cancellation charges or other charges imposed because a driver-partner denied a rider service because of a service animal.
Riders cannot be charged cleaning fees for shedding by their service animals. Riders will be refunded any cleaning fees charged for shedding by their service animals.
A rider will not be charged for the first or second reported mess involving a service animal’s bodily fluids. A rider can be charged for the third reported mess involving a service animal’s bodily fluids. The rider may contest that such a mess occurred by responding to the fee notification email to notify customer support. If a rider contests the cleaning fee, Uber will make a reasonable good faith effort to determine whether a mess occurred.
This policy does not affect a driver-partner’s rights to their own service animals.