July 25, 2017

CA to begin anti-discrimination testing of Airbnb hosts

A computer screen shows details of Airbnb page on its web site in Saransk, Russia, on December 12 2015. Selective focus
Copyright: gyddik / 123RF Stock Photo

State regulators plan soon to test hosts on Airbnb to prevent discriminatory practices, picking audit targets using information provided by the online homesharing platform.

The tests follow the state’s decision last week to fine an Airbnb host in Big Bear for canceling the reservation of a guest because she is Asian-American. But regulators at the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing had been discussing auditing hosts even before the fine.

The planned audits are part of a months-long investigation into complaints of discrimination on the online platform, said Jon Ichinaga, the department’s chief counsel.

Ichinaga said hosts accused of discrimination by a guest will be contacted by staff posing as a white guest trying to book on the same dates. If the host accepts the “white” guest who is identical to the rejected guest in every way but race, regulators can infer discrimination and go after offenders, he said.

“We’re going to be bringing some cases, […]

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The News for the Gig Economy Staff is constantly searching the web for the latest news regarding freelancing and gig platforms to bring them to you in one handy place. All articles with this generic author have been sourced with the original location at the bottom of the piece. We encourage our readers to view the original source of all excerpts. NGE is a project of ARC Online, LLC.

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