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, […]