Airbnb will update its terms of service to end forced arbitration of sexual assault cases

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Airbnb will now enable guests and hosts to initiate lawsuits against the company as it will no longer push them through forced arbitration for sexual assault or harassment claims. Previously, Airbnb has managed numerous sexual assault allegations and most of them have ended up being forced through nondisclosure agreements and arbitration.

In 2018, it removed the arbitration requirement for workplace discrimination cases. When #MeToo and Time's Up movement reached their apex, Airbnb became one of the few tech companies such as eBay, Uber, Apple, and Google to put an end to their mandated arbitration clauses. The company also added that "Incidents of sexual assault are extremely rare on Airbnb, but in these rare cases, Airbnb's highly-trained Safety team works with survivors to put their wellbeing first".

Recently, the company released a statement that said, "We believe that survivors should be able to bring claims in whatever forum is best for them". It further stated that it has also ceased asking courts to lead existing cases of sexual harassment and assault into arbitration and will keep on doing so till the standard is filed in the terms of service of the app coming fall.

For more information on whether Airbnb has plans of including cases concerning other kinds of violent assault in the update, we'll have to wait until the company issues any further statements.

Source: Airbnb via Insider | Image: Design Studio

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