State and federal law prohibit drivers providing transportation services transacted through Circulation from denying service to riders with service animals because of the service animals, and from otherwise discriminating against riders with service animals. Providers who engage in discriminatory conduct in violation of this legal obligation will be suspended from the network.
I. What is a service animal?
A service animal is an animal that is trained to work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. There are many types of service animals. Most service animals are dogs. Common types of service animals include guide dogs, which help blind people travel, and signal dogs, which alert deaf people to relevant sounds. There is no requirement that a service animal wear a tag, be registered, or display any kind of proof that it is a service animal.
II. Legal obligations of drivers
Drivers have a legal obligation to provide service to riders with service animals. A driver CANNOT lawfully deny service to riders with service animals because of allergies, religious objections, or a generalized fear of animals. If a driver refuses to drive a rider with a service animal because of the service animal, the driver and their employing provider organization is in violation of the law and Circulation’s agreement with the provider.
The provider may not request that the rider present documentation proving that the rider’s animal is a service animal. The law provides that there are only two questions that a driver may ask to confirm that a rider’s animal is a service animal: (1) is the animal required because of a disability? And (2) what work or task has the animal been trained to perform?
III. Consequences for providers who unlawfully refuse to transport riders with service animals
If Circulation determines that a provider knowingly refused to transport a rider with a service animal because of the service animal, the provider will be permanently suspended from the network and be prohibited from providing transportation arranged through Circulation.
If Circulation receives Service Animal Complaints that plausibly allege more than one instance where a Provider either (a) refused to transport a Rider with a Service Animal because of the presence of a Service Animal, or (b) threatened, harassed, ridiculed, provided inferior service, or was antagonistic to a Rider or another person in the Rider’s party because of the presence of a Service Animal, that driver will be permanently removed from the network.
IV. Reporting service animal complaints
Riders may report service animal issues, including denials of transportation services, harassment, other mistreatment, or improper cleaning fees, to Circulation. Complaints may be filed in writing or by calling our support line at 617-219-9522. Circulation will investigate service animal complaints and will take appropriate action in accordance with this service animal policy. Circulation will notify the rider within two weeks of the date of the complaint about the outcome of the investigation and the actions that Circulation has or will take to resolve the complaint.
V. Rights of riders with service animals
A rider cannot be denied service because he or she travels with a service animal
Updated: November 15, 2017
Approved: November 15, 2017