As the use of social media, and most notably Facebook, becomes more and more popular in the hands of recruiters in the U.S., some practices used by employers are becoming blatantly discriminatory.
Age discrimination in job ads has been around for decades. Employers have found ways to wiggle their way out of legal trouble by subtly excluding people over 40 from the recruitment process.
Fact: more than 64% of all U.S. workers say they experienced or witnessed age discrimination in the workplace.
And now, Facebook is being in hot water for providing the tool that allows employers and recruiters to discriminate against older people on the basis of age in the most subtle way ever.
Yep, it’s actually illegal to do that
Verizon has recently come under fire for placing a job ad on Facebook to seek employees focused on financial planning and analysis. In an apparent attempt to avoid gender discrimination criticism, the company featured a photo of a millennial-aged woman with a wide smile on her face.
Everything would be great except for the company’s promotion strategy. Verizon set to promote the job ad on the Facebook feeds of users who are exclusively 25 to 36 years old.
Verizon’s age-targeted job ad excluded Facebook users over 40 from potentially seeing the ad and responding to it. Meaning: millions of potential employees aged 40 and older did not even see that ad just because of their age.
Under federal and state laws in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California, discriminating against employees or job applicants over 40 is illegal and punishable by law.
But does posting age-targeted job ads on the Facebook amount to age discrimination? “Absolutely,” our Los Angeles workplace discrimination attorneys insist, encouraging job seekers over 40 to file lawsuits against companies who engage in this type of discriminatory and illegal conduct.
Russia used the same technique to allegedly meddle in US election
But Verizon is far from the only company that takes advantage of age-targeted recruitment on Facebook.
Ever since the social media giant introduced the controversial move to allow employers to look for younger employees and exclude older workers from the recruitment process, the nation’s leading employers such as Amazon, Target and even Facebook itself, have been placing age-targeted job ads, according to an investigation by ProPublica.
Fact: Facebook ads limited to particular groups was the tool that Russia allegedly used to meddle in the U.S. presidential election in 2016 (something that has become a full-blown FBI investigation gripping America’s attention).
Placing age-targeted job ads amounts to age discrimination
Just like it would be illegal to write in a job ad – in a newspaper or a job board website – that the company is looking for employees aged 25 to 36, placing recruitment ads that appear in the Facebook feeds of only particular age groups may amount to an age discrimination lawsuit in Los Angeles.
Here at Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers, a Los Angeles-based law firm representing victims of all forms of discrimination in the workplace and during the employment process, our age discrimination attorneys say that using Facebook’s age-targeted ads for recruitment purposes is an unfair and discriminatory practice.
Since federal and state laws in Los Angeles prohibit bias and discrimination against people over 40, using the system to expose job ads only to younger job seekers can be sufficient evidence of age discrimination.
However since companies can easily get rid of those age-targeted ads and make it look as if they never existed in the first place, it’s highly recommended to seek the legal advice of a skilled age discrimination lawyer who would help you document the illegal conduct and file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Both the company that posted the discriminatory job ad and Facebook can be held liable for discriminating against older U.S. workers. Let’s hold them accountable for their illegal actions.
Consult our age discrimination attorneys at Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers to find out your best course of action. Call at 310-527-6994 or fill out this contact form to get a free initial consultation.