Breaking News Emails
A blind Wisconsin man claims a driver affiliate with the car service Uber denied him a ride because he uses a service dog.
David Tolmie said his Uber driver turned him away last Thursday because the driver did not want the dog, Divit, to scratch his leather seats, NBC station WMTV reported.
Tolmie told the station that it was his first time using the car service. He said he made sure to check the ride-sharing website to ensure that it follows Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards before requesting a ride. He had planned to take Divit to the veterinarian.
"It clearly states that they've educated all of their drivers that service dogs are allowed in all vehicles," Tolmie told the station.
In a statement to NBC News, Uber said all drivers with the company are expected to comply with ADA requirements.
"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 said. "Uber also requires driver partners to accommodate service animals in compliance with accessibility laws."
An Uber spokeswoman also noted that they have been praised by the National Federation of the Blind in the past.
Uber told NBC News that the driver has since been deactivated and that the company does not tolerate discrimination of any kind.
The station reported that after Tolmie was turned away, he purportedly informed the driver of the law. But the driver allegedly disregarded Tolmie and left. He then allegedly canceled Tolmie's ride, charging him a cancellation fee.
"It was very shocking," Tolmie said. "I can't say I've ever... I mean, it's clear discrimination."
Tolmie, who has been with his seeing eye dog for nearly six years, has filed a complaint with the Equal Opportunities Commission and the City of Madison.
Tolmie did not respond to requests for comment from NBC News.