A human rights lawyer says it is a “complicated question” whether or not Airbnb could be held liable in Canada for racial discrimination.
The issue has gained prominence in the U.S. after a class-action suit was filed in May against the online home-rental service. The chief-plaintiff, Gregory Selden, a 25-year-old African-American, claims Airbnb violated civil rights law, which forbids housing discrimination, when a host denied him accommodation last year based on his race.
A paper by Harvard researchers also found “widespread discrimination” by hosts against users with names that sound African-American.
The study used fictional names, such as Lakisha or Rasheed, and found that they were 16 per cent less likely to be accepted as guests when compared to users with Caucasian-sounding names.
However, legal action against the San Francisco-based company could prove difficult because it has a clause that requires users who reside in the U.S. to waive their right to a trial by jury or toRead More »from Airbnb's obligation to prevent discrimination falls into legal grey area