Anti-age bias laws are at the forefront of a publicized lawsuit involving Facebook. The Communications Workers of America and others are suing multiple companies on behalf of union members and other people who were excluded from viewing online employment advertisements on Facebook.
The issue in this lawsuit raises a red flag on the technology companies’ alleged targeting of ideal job applicants. Although Facebook is not named as a defendant, many companies used Facebook’s targeting tools to essentially exclude an older audience from viewing their job advertisements on Facebook. These companies allegedly targeted their employment advertisements to a younger audience so that they would more likely receive job applications from a younger demographic.
This lawsuit may produce precedent that will set the stage for how companies may or may not utilize technology platforms and accompanying algorithms for employment ads. With social networking sites becoming a more prevalent source for job advertisements, it is possible that this may be the first of many publicized lawsuits on this topic. Hopefully the outcome of this case will provide companies with valuable insight on the utilization of targeted social media ads.