Airbnb is an online rental service that enables people to list, find, and rent vacation homes. Recently, this online room-sharing company has faced claims of race discrimination. Several Airbnb users have shared stories on social media about discrimination when attempting to book a room. Harvard University researchers found it was more difficult for guests with African-American-sounding names to rent a room successfully through the site. A class-action discrimination lawsuit is testing Airbnb’s clause that requires its customers to agree to waive their right to sue or join in any class-action lawsuit. Brian Chesky, chief executive of Airbnb, promised to eliminate prejudice from his business by revisiting the design of the site and what changes can be made to make it a more inclusive platform. The article below includes statements from civil rights lawyers and other individuals passionate about civil justice issues and anti-discrimination policies. Class-action lawsuits press companies on their discrimination policies and can potentially prevent future discrimination. An associate professor of law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City raised the concern that while Airbnb says it does not condone racism and has an anti-discrimination policy, are they being held accountable and following anti-discrimination laws? While employment law focuses on the rights of employees in the workplace facing issues such as racial discrimination and harassment at work, similar issues happen outside of the workplace too. If you are a worker dealing with mistreatment, such as harassment from your employer, contacting an attorney, an employment law firm, or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) may help you better understand your rights.
Source: By Katie Benner; From The New York Times