Airbnb will allow hosts and guests to sue the company for sexual assault in its listings
Airbnb will allow hosts and guests to sue the company for sexual assault and sexual harassment that occurs in its listings after quietly removing a clause from its 40-page terms of service.
The clause – that guests claiming sexual assault or sexual harassment took place at an Airbnb property had to seek a judge to settle the dispute – had been buried in terms for more than a decade.
All 150 million Airbnb users accepted this clause when they registered on the site.
In a statement released Friday, Airbnb said: “We are announcing that the arbitration provisions will no longer apply to complaints of sexual assault or sexual harassment by hosts or guests in the next iteration of Airbnb’s Terms of Service. “.
Before it was removed, the clause – that guests claiming sexual assault or harassment took place at an Airbnb property had to seek a judge to settle the dispute – had been buried in the 40-page terms for over of a decade.
All 150 million Airbnb users agreed to the previous clause when they registered on the site. The new conditions are expected to come into effect this fall, but the statement (pictured) did not specify an exact date
The new conditions are expected to take effect this fall, but the statement did not specify an exact date.
Airbnb, which went public last year, saw its stock price drop 0.55% – to $ 150.32 per share – after the announcement.
“We believe survivors should be able to file claims with whatever forum is best for them,” the statement said.
He also encouraged “industry peers within the travel and hospitality space to consider taking similar action for their respective communities.”
Airbnb concluded the statement by assuring hosts and guests that it “builds trust” by “doing the right thing in the rare event that things go wrong.”
However, the company – which is said to spend around $ 50 million a year on payments when “things go wrong” – is no stranger to the event.
Airbnb saw its stock price drop 0.55% – which now stands at $ 150.32 – after the announcement
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. The short-term property rental company, which went public in December, has spent around $ 50 million annually on payments to hosts and guests when things go wrong, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
Airbnb has a habit of paying victims of the worst crises that occur in corporate short-term rental properties to keep news of disasters quiet.
The company even has a secret team to do exactly what is called the “black box” team within the company – a group of around 100 agents in cities around the world, several of whom have military or emergency service background.
Team members in Dublin, Montreal and Singapore have the power to spend any amount of money to fight crimes such as sexual assault, murder and death.
In one incident, a rape victim received a payment of $ 7 million in exchange for agreeing not to “implicate the responsibility or liability” of Airbnb or the host after a “criminal career “used a duplicate wrench to get into a rental in New York City to rape and stab her, according to a report by Bloomberg Businessweek.
The unidentified Australian, who was 29 at the time, and a group of friends had rented a first-floor apartment on West 37th Street near Times Square.
In one incident, a rape victim received a payment of $ 7 million in exchange for agreeing not to “implicate any liability or liability” on Airbnb or the host after a “career criminal” used a duplicate key to get into a rental in NYC (above) to rape and stab him
The group had collected the keys to the apartment from a nearby bodega without showing any ID, Bloomberg reported.
They went to a party together, but the 29-year-old returned to the property on her own, before her friends.
The suspect, Junior Lee, 24, is said to be already inside the apartment, hiding in the bathroom upon her return.
He raped her at the threat of a knife.
The incident was kept under wraps until the Bloomberg report was released two months ago.
He revealed that Airbnb’s security team immediately sprang into action, paying to bring the victim’s mother from Australia and put them up in hotels before taking them home. They also offered to pay for health and counseling costs, according to the report.
Florida woman Carla Stefaniak (above) was murdered by a security guard at the apartment complex where she was renting an Airbnb in Costa Rica
Two years later, they paid the victim $ 7 million as part of a deal that she would not blame or sue Airbnb or the host.
In another incident, the “black box” team asked contractors to cover bullet holes in the walls of properties or hire bodily fluids crews to clean the blood from the floors, according to the report.
In extreme cases, they have even had to deal with hosts who have discovered dismembered human remains inside their homes.
In another previously reported incident, Florida woman Carla Stefaniak was murdered by a security guard at the apartment complex where she was renting an Airbnb in Costa Rica in 2018.
His partially buried body was found half naked and covered in plastic bags by sniffer dogs 200 feet from his Airbnb.
Stefaniak’s body was found half-naked and covered in plastic bags near the San Jose vacation rental she was staying in (above)
Traces of blood were found in the Airbnb, which she described as “summary”
She suffered a blunt head injury and stab wounds.
Stefaniak had told friends that she thought the accommodation was “sketchy” and that there was heavy rain and no electricity.
She said on a FaceTime call that she might ask an Airbnb security guard to buy her water because of the storm.
Bismark Espinoza Martínez, 33, was sentenced last year to 16 years for her murder.
Stefaniak’s family filed a lawsuit against Airbnb, claiming they had not checked the background of the security guard, who was working illegally in the country.
The case was settled for an undisclosed sum.
Despite the critical role the team has played in supporting guests and hosts and helping avoid public relations disasters, 25 of its most senior officers were laid off last year amid the pandemic, announced. Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky in May of last year.
Security guards criticized the move, arguing they had already sacrificed their sanity for the role.
Chesky then partially reversed the decision and rehired 15 of the workers with half-time wages.