Vol. LVIII No. 4

Sharing Economy Inequality: How the Adoption of Class Action Waivers in the Sharing Economy Presents A Threat to Racial Discrimination Claims

Abstract: In recent years, the sharing economy has pervaded the life of the consumer, challenging the regulatory and business status quo. Despite the pluralistic messages of many sharing economy companies, racial discrimination is a growing problem on peer-to-peer networks such as Uber and Airbnb. Victims of discrimination, however, have encountered an even greater opponent: class action waivers in arbitration agreements, which are omnipresent in sharing economy company contracts. Due to the inherent tie between class action and civil rights, racial discrimination claims in the sharing economy are held hostage by individual arbitration agreements. This Note argues that without action by Congress or a regulatory agency, such waivers threaten future civil rights enforcement.

:: View PDF