Oregon woman files suit against Airbnb over discrimination

Clackamas County woman says the site facilitates discrimination against black users

Airbnb's new logo named "Belo," July 16, 2014. (http://blog.airbnb.com/belong-anywhere)
Airbnb's new logo named "Belo," July 16, 2014. (http://blog.airbnb.com/belong-anywhere)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – A Clackamas County woman has filed a lawsuit against vacation-rental website Airbnb, saying the site facilitates discrimination against black users.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that Patricia Harrington has filed a class-action lawsuit accusing Airbnb of violating Oregon’s public accommodation laws.

The lawsuit claims that Airbnb’s practice of allowing hosts to review a prospective guest’s full name and photograph before accepting a reservation allows hosts to reject clients based on their race.

An Airbnb spokeswoman said the company strongly opposes bias and discrimination.

Harrington, who is African American, has not used Airbnb, but her attorney says she has the right to use the platform without providing her full name and photo.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction that would allow Harrington and other black users to join the site and access listings without providing photos or full names.