Uber ordered to pay $1.1m to blind woman refused rides

Uber drivers systematically and illegally discriminated against Lisa Irving due to her disability, an arbitrator ruled today. One even falsely claimed to have arrived at her destination to get her (and her dog) out of the car, knowing that she was blind and wouldn't know any better.

An independent arbitrator ruled Uber's drivers had illegally discriminated against her due to her condition. It rejected Uber's claim that the company itself was not liable, because, it argued, its drivers had the status of contractors rather than employees. Mrs Irving, from San Francisco, said she had worried about her safety after being stranded multiple times late at night due to being rejected by drivers.

Arbitration oftens functions as a trick, hidden in fine print, by which companies get customers and workers to waive their legal rights. Uber wields these abritration clauses ruthlessly against its customers and drivers alike. But even corporate kangaroo court was having none of it this time.