Airbnb, a tech company that connects people who wish to rent out their homes with renters, is facing charges that it is not doing enough to combat discrimination on multiple fronts. Critics are claiming that Airbnb must do more to crack down on users who refuse to rent homes on the website to minorities. The company is also accused of employing very few minorities. Airbnb pledges to do more to confront discrimination and bias. The company also promises to recruit more minorities to work in computer science and data science for the company.
On Airbnb, users identify themselves with their real name and a picture. A study by Harvard Business School found that there was widespread discrimination by Airbnb hosts against guests whose names sounded distinctly black. The company is being sued by a black man who says that the company did nothing when he was rejected by a host because of his race.
Another host was banned after using racist language to reject a Nigerian woman because she is black. A Hollywood producer says she complained privately to the company last summer that she was turned away by a host who felt uncomfortable renting to her because she is transgender. The producer says the company ignored her complaint until she took to social media. Airbnb later removed the host.
The company says that it prohibits content that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred, harassment, or harm against any person or group. Two start-up companies are looking to take advantage of Airbnb’s problems by catering to African Americans who want to rent homes. The companies were started after an African-American man was not able to rent a house in Idaho, but his white friend had no problem renting the same house for the same dates. Since the companies started, they have been contacted numerous times by people who had similar experiences based on disability, race, or sexual orientation.
In addition to the complaints about the website, the company is also facing charges of discrimination in its hiring. The company is 63 percent white, 22 percent Asian, 7 percent Latino and only 3 percent African American. The company is launching a new project called Airbnb Connect that will offer temporary jobs to people who are seeking to make a career transition, which may also diversify the workforce.
It’s unfortunate that in 2016 many minorities are continuing to have difficulties obtaining the housing they desire strictly based on their race. It’s also unfortunate that many companies do not choose to take all the steps necessary to help to stop that discrimination.
If you believe that you have been the victim of discrimination, either in housing accommodations or in an employment discrimination case, call the Oakland – San Francisco discrimination attorneys at Liberty Law at 510-645-1000 or 415-896-1000. At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty and Seth I. Rosenberg believe that anyone who is the victim of discrimination should consider their legal options. You may be entitled to lost wages, emotional damages, and more.
At Liberty Law, we will provide you with a free consultation on your case. If we choose to accept your case, you pay us nothing in legal fees unless we obtain a recovery for you. We work with clients throughout the Bay area, including Oakland, Hayward, Fairfield, Tracy, San Jose, Sacramento, Berkeley, and the surrounding areas. Call us today to learn more or to schedule your free consultation. We look forward to helping you obtain the compensation you deserve.