We’re announcing that arbitration provisions will no longer apply to sexual assault or sexual harassment claims by Hosts or guests in the next iteration of Airbnb’s Terms of Service. This aligns with a commitment we made in late 2018 to no longer require Airbnb employees to use arbitration in cases involving sexual harassment.
This upcoming change to our Terms will codify a practice we have already had in place. Since January 2019, we have not asked a court to force any of the very few cases involving sexual assault or sexual harassment claims by Hosts or guests into arbitration. Until the next update to our Terms is launched, we will continue not to enforce our arbitration provisions as it relates to these cases. We currently expect this update to the Terms to be ready in the Fall.
We believe that survivors should be able to bring claims in whatever forum is best for them. We encourage our industry peers within the travel and hospitality space to consider taking similar steps for their respective communities.
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. This team has undergone training in trauma-informed methodology, and they prioritize supporting and empowering survivors in their healing process. Many of Airbnb’s community safety policies and workflows were informed by the counsel of expert organizations, such as Vital Voices.
Our goal is to make Airbnb the safest and most trusted way to travel. Paramount to building trust is doing the right thing in the rare instances where things go wrong. We will continue investing in the right people, systems and policies to prioritize safety on our platform and within the communities we serve.