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U.S. Justice Dept sues Uber for overcharging disabled people

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The U.S. Justice Department is taking ride-hailing app Uber to court, suing them over claims it has been overcharging disabled people

The Department claims Uber’s “wait time” fees are discriminating against disabled passengers who need more than two minutes to get into a car.

The DoJ says the ride service needs to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act known as ADA.

Uber has however responded, stating that wait time fees were not intended to apply to disabled riders and that it had been refunding the fees to those charged.

Kristen Clarke, assistance attorney general for the DoJ’s civil rights division said the lawsuit aimed to send a “powerful message that Uber cannot penalise passengers with disabilities simply because they need more time to get into a car”.

Clarke added that Uber and other ride hailing companies such as Lyft and Taxi services “must ensure equal access for all people, including those with disabilities,”

DoJ says Uber and other ride hailing companies such as Lyft and Taxi services must abide by the ADA. / Image: File

Uber disagrees that it violated the ADA

An Uber spokesperson stated that the company had been in talks with the Department fo Justice prior to the “surprising and disappointing” lawsuit.

The spokesperson stated that fees were “never intended for riders who are ready at their designated pickup location but need more time to get into the car”,

In the statement, Uber revealed it does have a policy of refunding wait time fees for disabled riders whenever they alerted the firm that they had been charged.

“After a recent change last week, now any rider who certifies they are disabled will have fees automatically waived,”

The spokesperson confirmed.

Uber began charging passengers for driver waiting times back in 2016.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

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Workers rush back to their desks over job fears

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Workers across Australia are rushing back to their desks, driving office utilisation rates to their highest levels since February 2020.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays emerge as the busiest in-office days, contrasting with the continued reluctance to return on Fridays.

This insight, drawn from XY Sense data based on 18 enterprise customers in Australia employing approximately 68,000 individuals across 127 buildings, reflects a significant shift in workplace dynamics.

The surge in office attendance coincides with a resurgence in workplace attendance mandates and policies linking physical presence to bonuses and performance reviews.

However, co-founder of XY Sense, Alex Birch, suggests that rising job insecurity, rather than these policies, primarily drives this behavioral shift.

“The pendulum has moved towards the employer, and therefore people feel more obliged to go back into work,” commented Mr. Birch.

Job market

Danielle Wood, chairwoman of the Productivity Commission, anticipates this trend to persist as the job market softens.

She notes a disparity between employer and worker perceptions regarding the productivity benefits of hybrid work arrangements, hinting at potential shifts in the employment landscape.

Meanwhile, economists at the e61 Institute observe a partial reversal of the pandemic-induced “escape to the country” trend.

Rent differentials between regional and capital city dwellings, which narrowed during the pandemic, are now widening again.

This trend suggests a diminishing appeal of remote work options and a return to urban commuting.

Aaron Wong, senior research economist at e61, said the emergence of a “new normal,” characterised by a hybrid lifestyle that blends access to office spaces with proximity to lifestyle amenities such as natural landscapes.

While regional rents decline, rents for homes on the urban fringe surge, reflecting evolving preferences shaped by remote work opportunities.

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Why resilient economy is fuelling demand for Australian property

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Despite inflationary pressures, Australian house prices have surged to a record high for the fifth month in a row, as indicated by CoreLogic data.

Australian house prices have not only weathered inflation but have also soared to unprecedented levels, marking the fifth consecutive month of record highs, according to data from CoreLogic.

This resilience reflects the enduring demand for property in the country, showcasing the sustained interest of buyers despite challenging economic conditions.

VentureCrowd’s Head of Property, David Whitting, talks how investors can access alternative ways of property investing.

Presented by VentureCrowd #funding futures #housing #economy

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Three reasons why you don’t need to panic about inflation

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Inflation in the US has exceeded expectations for the third consecutive month, driven by increases in essential commodities such as oil, electricity, takeaway food, and medical costs.

  1. Despite a 3.8% year-on-year rise in CPI, it’s notable that this figure has decreased from its previous 9% high.
  2. The robust CPI and economic growth numbers suggest a positive outlook for US corporate earnings.
  3. The S&P500 has seen five 1% drops this year, all of which were met with investors buying the dip.

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