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Lawsuit filed over recruitment ads on Facebook

According to a lawsuit recently filed by a labor union for the communications industry, Amazon, T-Mobile and Cox Communications all placed age limits on their Facebook recruitment ads. The complaint states that the practice of limiting who can see the recruitment ads based on a person's age amounts to age discrimination.

This isn't the first Facebook has heard about the discriminating nature of their "micro-targeting" employment advertisements. In addition to restricting who sees the recruitment ads by age, advertisers can decide who sees their ads based on someone's race and interests.

Facebook said last month that advertisers were no longer allowed to exclude people by race from seeing their ads. The lawsuit does not name Facebook as a defendant, but it does accuse the social media behemoth of excluding certain groups of people in its own efforts in recruitment.

The complaint filed in federal court included photos of some of the recruitment ads. When a user clicks on an ad, a screen is brought up that shows the age group that the advertiser marketed. One read, "You're seeing this ad because Amazon Fulfillment Jobs wants to reach people ages 18 to 54 who live or were recently near Silver Spring Maryland." One of T-Mobile's pop-up screens said, "There may be other reasons you're seeing this ad, including that T-Mobile Careers wants to reach people ages 18 to 38."

He also that companies who use social media extensively for recruiting are harming those who are older and looking for employment. The lead attorney said that class-action status will be sought and that the plan is to add more defendants to the case.

Employment discrimination is illegal when it occurs due to someone's age, race, religion or other protected class. If you feel you have been discriminated against when you applied for a job, an attorney can help you learn more about your options.

Source: New York Post, "Facebook job ads allow age discrimination: suit," Dec. 21, 2017

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