Airbnb says it will allow victims of sexual assault to sue the business

Airbnb Inc. has said it will allow hosts and guests to sue the company for sexual assault and harassment in its ads, lifting a mandatory arbitration clause that has been buried in its 40-page terms of service for over a decade. ‘a decade.

The update will be reflected in the company’s next iteration of the company’s terms of service in the fall, the company said in a statement Friday, without specifying a date. “We believe survivors should be able to lodge a complaint with whatever forum is best for them,” the statement said. “We encourage our peers in the travel and hospitality industry to consider taking similar action for their respective communities. “

The move comes after a Bloomberg Businessweek investigation into violent crimes, including rape, on Airbnb listings. This story highlighted the efforts the home-sharing company will put in to keep such incidents silent – sometimes spending millions of dollars in settlement payments and using the binding arbitration clause in its terms of service to keep users out to file claims for damages in court. During the monitoring reports, Bloomberg asked Airbnb for weeks about details about its arbitrage policy.

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