Verizon recently came under criticism with accusations of age discrimination in its Facebook marketing of job openings at the company.
The advertisements used on Facebook intended to recruit applicants for financial planning and analysis positions. In the ad, a millennial aged woman sat at a computer, and copy promised applicants that the new hire would be “more than just a number.” The promotion ran in the Facebook feds of users between 25 and 36 years old who lived in Washington, D.C. or had recently visited there and had a demonstrated interest in finance.
This meant the advertisement did not exist for the vast majority of people who use Facebook every day. This demonstrates the powerful ability of Facebook’s marketing platform for companies to be able to reach out to specific niche audiences with their messaging. But in this particular case, experts question whether using the platform to market job openings only to specific age groups would be considered a violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. This law prohibits any bias against hiring people 40 or older.
Facebook commented in defense of the practice, saying age-based targeting for employment purposes is an accepted practice in the industry as it can help employers recruit people of all ages.
There is also the question of whether Facebook itself would share any liability if it was ruled such marketing practices would not comply with the Act. Facebook has argued in other court filings that the Communications Decency Act shields it from liability for any discriminatory ads placed on its platform by users.
For more information on whether such practices would qualify as discrimination and the legal steps you can take if you feel you have been discriminated against via a company’s hiring practices, meet with a skilled Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.