Get All Access for $5/mo

Airbnb Now Requires That Hosts Accept Anti-Discrimination Rules If you're kicked out for racism or sexism, you can't feign ignorance.

By Jon Fingas

This story originally appeared on Engadget

Yamil Lage/AFP/Getty Images via Engadget

Remember how Airbnb said it would ask you to agree to a non-discrimination policy if you wanted to host guests? That's now in effect. As of Nov. 1, hosts must abide by rules forbidding them from discriminating against guests. In the U.S., they're explicitly barred from discrimination based on factors such as race, nationality, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation. Hosts can label shared living spaces as open solely to same-gender guests (to discourage creeps) and warn disabled guests about accessibility problems, but those are the only major exceptions.

If you accept the agreement but violate it later, Airbnb's response varies. If you post a discriminatory listing, you'll have to edit it. And if you either refuse to make changes or actively reject guests, you'll face a suspension. There are limits to what Airbnb can do, though. It warns that it can't enforce all aspects of the policy worldwide, since that may force hosts to break local laws. Also, the firm can't stop hosts from discriminating over entirely legal matters. Don't be surprised if you're turned down for smoking, then.

The requirement is primarily a response to previous racist incidents rather than a proactive step, but it might be just what the company needs to discourage would-be hosts who might reject or insult guests for no good reason. The big challenge is enforcing the rules. Airbnb says that it will watch for hosts trying to skirt around the rules by using legal excuses (say, repeatedly rejecting guests on flimsy pretenses), but it'll have to prove that it can catch this abuse in a timely fashion -- waiting for a public outcry won't cut it.

Jon Fingas is an associate editor at Engadget.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business Solutions

Increase Productivity with This Microsoft 365 Subscription, Now $25 Off

It can make the entrepreneur life a lot easier.

Business News

Apple Pay Later Is Ending. Here's What's Taking Its Place.

The program was available for less than a year.

Leadership

This Artist Answered a Businessman's 'Powerful' Question — Then His Work Became 'the Poster Child for Juneteenth': 'Your Network Really Becomes Your Net Worth'

Reginald Adams was the executive director of a Houston-based art museum for more than a decade before he decided to launch his own public art and design firm.

Leadership

Harvard Business School Professor Says 65% of Startups Fail for One Reason. Here's How to Avoid It.

Team alignment isn't nice to have -- it's critical for running a successful business.

Business News

Here's What Companies Are Open and Closed on Juneteenth 2024

Since it became a holiday in 2021, Juneteenth has been recognized by some major corporations as a paid day off.

Growing a Business

I Hit $100 Million in Annual Revenue by Being More Transparent — Here Are the 3 Strategies That Helped Me Succeed

Three road-tested ways to be more transparent and build relationships that can transform your business — without leaving you feeling nightmarishly over-exposed.