Employers might be surprised to learn that the actions of an Airbnb host can affect policy and obligations created by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Nonetheless, that is the outcome of a particularly heated racial case arising out of Big Bear.
The Star reports that, in February 2017, Asian UCLA law student Dyne Suh had rented a cabin in Big Bear. The cabin had been rented from Tami Barker through Airbnb. After driving for hours through rain and snow, Suh received a text message canceling the reservation when she was only minutes away from the cabin. Barker wrote:
- “I wouldn’t rent to u if u were the last person on earth”
- “One word says it all. Asian.”
- “This is why we have Trump”
- “I will not allow this country to be told what to do by foreigners.”
Suh, an American citizen and law clerk at the Riverdale County Public Defender’s Office, reported the case to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. The Department ordered Barker to pay a $5000 fine, issue a personal apology to Suh, take a college level course on Asian American studies, complete community service at a civil rights organization, and report rental data to the Agency for the next four years. Airbnb also permanently banned Barker from their site. Continue reading