Airbnb, following Google, Facebook and Uber, said it would not force employees who filed sexual harassment claims to settle those cases in private arbitration.
Airbnb also said it would not require employees to use arbitration in
cases involving discrimination, which includes racial, gender, religious
and age inequity.
That policy differs from some other companies which have rolled back forced arbitration rules, but only for sexual harassment cases. Nick Papas, an Airbnb spokesperson, said that Airbnb is the first major technology company to remove binding arbitration for discrimination cases as well.
The news comes on the heels of last week’s announcements from Google and Facebook that the companies had changed some policies around sexual harassment, including making arbitration optional in claims.
Google had been under pressure to change its rules following an employee walkout on November 1 in protest of the tech giant’s handling of sexual misconduct by its executives.
In May, Uber also said it would no longer require arbitration for sexual harassment and assault claims.
Although Airbnb employees may now sue in court, the company will
continue to require its guests and hosts to settle sexual and
discrimination claims through arbitration. In 2016, Airbnb successfully
prevented a class action lawsuit after the home-sharing company was
accused of allowing its hosts to reject guests based on their race.
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