A racist Airbnb host has been ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and take a college-level course in Asian-American studies after she cancelled reservation because the guest was Asian.
A 26-year-old law clerk, Dyne Suh, in February with friends drove to a mountain cabin in Big Bear, California, which she had booked via Airbnb. But after hours of driving in rain and snow, she received text messages from host Tami Barker cancelling her reservation, Xinhua news agency reported.
The texts read: "I wouldn't rent it to u if u were the last person on earth" and "One word says it all. Asian."
The host said: "It's why we have Trump... and I will not allow this country to be told what to do by foreigners."
American citizen, Ms Suh though hardly relevant to the case, recounted the experience in a YouTube video posted in April.
"It stings that after living in the US for over 23 years this is what happens. If I follow the law nothing matters... no matter how well I treat others, it doesn't matter. If you are Asian, you're less than human and people can treat you like trash," Ms Suh, who worked as a law clerk at the Riverside County Public Defence's Office, said in the video.
To Airbnb after Dyne Suh filed complains, the accommodation sharing service provider carried out investigation and banned Barker from the platform.
Ms Suh also complained to the California Department of Fzair Employment and Housing (DFEH), which ordered Barker to make a personal apology to Ms Suh, pay a $5,000 fine and take an Asian American studies course.
Headquartered of Airbnb is in San Francisco, with the DFEH in April reached an agreement which allows the regulator to test and penalise Airbnb hosts for racial bias. Barker is the first Airbnb host that has been punished under the agreement.
The DFEH's demand after researches and a growing number of reports suggested hosts regularly refuse guests due to their race, a problem exposed in 2016 under the hashtag #AirbnbWhileBlack.