Airbnb will no longer require hosts and guests to go through arbitration pertaining to claims of sexual assault and/or sexual harassment, the company announced today.
Airbnb said it stopped forcing arbitration in January 2019, but now the homesharing company will adopt the language in its next terms of service this fall. The company's current terms of service only cite claims related to infringement, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, patents and other intellectual property rights.
Airbnb said hosts and guests have reported "very few cases" of harassment and sexual assault. The company went on to say that "incidents of sexual assault are extremely rare on Airbnb."
It seems that claims pertaining to racial discrimination and harassment will still be subject to arbitration. When asked if the policy would extend to claims of racial discrimination and harassment, Airbnb simply said the policy change only pertains to sexual assault and sexual harassment.
Airbnb's arbitration policy for hosts and guests is in line with its policy for its employees. In 2018, Airbnb announced it would no longer require arbitration for employees in cases involving sexual harassment. That decision came around the same time Square, eBay, Facebook, Microsoft and Uber committed to ending forced arbitration.