The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) and Human Rights Act 1993 (NZ) require that service providers do not deny transport service to riders with assistance animals because of the assistance animals, and do not otherwise discriminate against riders with assistance animals. State and Territory legislation, such as the Companion Animals Act 1998 (NSW), Commercial Passenger Transport (General) Regulation 2017 (Vic) and Domestic Animals Act 2000 (ACT), also expressly provide that service providers must accept riders with assistance animals. As explained in Uber’s Non-Discrimination Policy, driver-partners who engage in discriminatory conduct will lose their access to the Driver App.
Assistance animals help a wide range of people with disabilities, and are not limited to assisting those who are visually impaired. Assistance animals can help people with physical disabilities, autism, post-traumatic stress, diabetes, anxiety, dementia, hearing loss and other disabilities. You might not always be able to see the disability the person has.
You may not recognise an assistance animal just by looking at it. Assistance animals come in all shapes and sizes, and they are not required to have any kind of identifying collars or vests.
If you are unsure whether a rider’s animal is an assistance animal, simply ask them politely. If they answer yes, you can ask the rider for evidence that the animal is trained as an assistance animal or the animal is trained to meet standards of hygiene and behaviour that are appropriate for an animal in a public place.
If Uber receives a plausible complaint that a driver-partner refused to transport a rider with an assistance animal because of the assistance animal, following a review of the complaint(s), the driver-partner can be permanently prevented from using the Driver App. Uber shall make this determination in its sole discretion following a review of the incident.
Driver-partners may also be subject to fines under applicable legislation if they refuse to accept a rider with an assistance animal. The maximum fine applicable will depend upon the State, Territory or country the driver-partner is located. For example, as at the date of this Policy, a driver-partner may be subject to a fine of up to $8,000, $1,650 and $3,000 for failing to accept a rider with an assistance animal in the ACT, NSW and New Zealand respectively.
If a rider has an issue related to his or her assistance animal—including issues regarding ride cancellations, harassment, improper cleaning fees or unlawful additional fees—the rider can report the issue to Uber.
Once a rider submits an assistance animal complaint, Uber’s specialised support team will review the complaint and deal with it appropriately.
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 here or through the “Help” link on the Uber website.
A rider will be refunded any trip cancellation charges or other charges on the Uber App imposed because a driver-partner denied a rider service because of an assistance animal. Riders will be refunded any improper cleaning fees or unlawful additional fees charged for shedding by their assistance animals.