Facebook ads allow advertisers to target their advertising towards a variety of metrics. For example, you can target an ad to users in a city, state or zip code. You can also target particular professions and users in various age bands. In a recently filed age discrimination lawsuit, several large employers are accused of committing age discrimination by limited their job openings on Facebook to individuals under age 40 (i.e., individuals over age 40 do not see the job openings).
According to the New York Times,
Verizon is among dozens of the nation’s leading employers — including Amazon, Goldman Sachs, Target and Facebook itself — that placed recruitment ads limited to particular age groups, an investigation by ProPublica and The New York Times has found.
The lawsuit was filed by three workers and the Communication Workers of America (a union) against T-Mobile, Amazon, Cox Communications and Cox Media Group alleging that the defendant employers used targeted advertising that systemically excluded older applicants. The lawsuit intends to achieve class action status on behalf of all similarly situated individuals (i.e., those potential employees who were screened out by the alleged age-based targeted ads) and also intends to add a defendant class of employers to include other employers using targeted job placement advertising that screens out older workers. You can read the full allegations here.
What sounds elementary, but should not be forgotten in light of the recently filed case, is the fact that employers should not place unlawful restrictions who can view job openings on social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Indeed.