The Maine Human Rights Commission, an agency that enforces anti-discrimination laws in the state, said Monday that Uber discriminated against a blind woman who had been denied a ride due to her service dog. 

Patricia Sarchi, who is visually impaired, had her manicurist request an Uber ride for her in January 2017 but the driver refused to take her as a passenger due to her guide dog. She was later charged a $5 ride cancellation fee by Uber.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits businesses from discriminating against disabled individuals and their service animals. Uber's official policy says that drivers who refuse to transport service animals will be permanently removed from the platform. 

Uber hasn't yet commented on the decision but has said previously that the company should not be held responsible because its drivers are independent contractors, not official employees. 

In August 2018, a Texas blind woman claimed she had been denied a ride with an Uber driver due to her service dog. She claims that the driver suggested that the service dog be put in the trunk of the car, an illegal act of cruelty towards the animal. 

As of 2016, there are approximately 500,000 service animals in the U.S. which help impaired individuals navigate daily life. September is National Service Dog Month.