Airbnb Host Who Stranded Guest For Racist Reason Is Punished
The (former) Airbnb host who canceled a guest’s stay at her cabin in Big Bear, California, for racist reasons has been penalized. Tami Barker, who told would-be guest Dyne Suh “one word: Asian” when she canceled her stay at the last minute, must pay $5,000 in damages for racial discrimination, take a college-level course on Asian-American studies, apologize to Suh, and volunteer with a civil rights organization, among other things, the Guardian reports. Barker, who stranded Suh and her party in the middle of a storm during a holiday weekend, was banned from Airbnb after the incident.
The penalties were arrived at under a new agreement between Airbnb and the California department of fair employment and housing. Under the agreement, the regulator can penalize certain California hosts for racial bias; it was established after complaints that Airbnb hosts often refused guests due to race. Barker (who may be a college professor, SFist reported in April) is the first host penalized under the program. Her lawyer says she is “regretful for her impetuous actions and comments” but happy the situation was resolved “in a manner that can hopefully bring a positive outcome out of an unfortunate incident.” Read Suh’s story here.