Thank you for subscribing!
Got it! Thank you!

Former Attorney General Hired by Airbnb to Help Draft Anti-Discrimination Policy

Former United States Attorney General Eric Holder has been hired as an advisor by Airbnb to help devise the company's new anti-discrimination policy.

In December, a Harvard study (pdf) found that it was harder for people with African-American-sounding names than others to rent rooms through Airbnb's home-sharing service. Since then, the company has faced repeated accusations from African-American and transgender travelers, who say they were rejected by Airbnb hosts. 

Some hosts have since been removed from the service, but Airbnb has nevertheless been hit with a class-action lawsuit claiming the company has violated civil-rights laws relating to housing discrimination. Airbnb argues that the suit shouldn't go forward because the plaintiffs waived their rights to sue when they accepted the company's terms of use. 

Adding Holder to the committee tasked with writing a new anti-discrimination policy gives it a higher profile and signals that the company is serious about getting past the controversy. Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky wrote in a blog post that fighting bigotry is "the greatest challenge we face as a company."