Uber discriminated against blind woman with dog, panel rules

AUGUSTA, Maine — A panel in Maine has ruled that Uber discriminated against a blind woman when a driver refused to give her a ride because she was traveling with her guide dog.

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The Portland Press Herald reports the Maine Human Rights Commission voted Monday that Uber discriminated against Patricia Sarchi because of her visual impairment.

The report says a manicurist ordered an Uber for Sarchi after an appointment in January 2017. The driver told Sarchi he could not give her a ride because she had her guide dog.

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The ride-sharing company later charged Sarchi a $5 ride cancellation fee.

Uber argued it could not be held responsible because its drivers are independent contractors.

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The company said Tuesday it can’t comment on pending litigation. It added that its guidelines prohibit discrimination against riders.