The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, recently filed formal allegations against several companies accusing them of unlawful targeted recruiting that, according to the allegations, was designed to discourage older workers, and in some cases women, from applying for certain positions.
According to some experts, this action represents the first time the EEOC has formally applied anti-discrimination laws to online targeted advertising, such as through Facebook. In this context, targeting advertising is the practice of using a social media platform, like Facebook, to make sure that certain groups of people see ads for open positions, while others do not see these ads.
In the grand scheme, there is nothing wrong with a company trying to find a strong pool of candidates by advertising to a specific audience.
However, the EEOC is saying that seven companies, including a couple of major players in the financial industry and other nationally known businesses, used or allowed the use of targeted ads on Facebook to attracted younger workers over older workers or, in some cases, men over women.
It is illegal for a company subject to federal anti-discrimination laws to use selective advertising and recruiting to effectively weed out candidates who are protected under the law before they even have the chance to apply for the job.
At this stage, while many of the companies are denying wrongdoing, the firms now have the opportunity either to resolve the charges or risk having either the EEOC or the victim take them to court.
Residents of the Denver area should have the same opportunity to pursue available job openings as the next person, no matter their age or gender. If a person feels that he or she has been victimized by a company’s violation of these rights, he or she may have legal options available to them.