Everyday consumers are exposed to advertisements in some form, but many people don’t realize that they aren’t always seeing the same ads as their fellow neighbor. In fact, websites such as Facebook and Instagram allow companies to create customized audiences to decide who sees their advertisements. In many aspects, this marketing strategy can be convenient and successful. After all, 16-year-olds would be less likely to engage in campaigns related to divorce than they would with celebrity gossip.
However, a recent lawsuit alleges that some companies have taken this concept too far. Here’s why some are saying that older workers are being pushed out of the job market and how the law may be able to offer them relief.
Suit alleges discriminatory hiring practices using Facebook ads
On Tuesday, the Communications Workers of America added a new wave of prominent companies to an on-going class action lawsuit filed in California. According to the Plaintiff’s attorneys, hundreds of businesses including Facebook, Ikea, Amazon and T-Mobile have been discriminating against older workers in their hiring practices. How?
Through Facebook advertisements, the businesses exclude workers over the age of 50 from targeting audiences related to job openings within their companies. This marketing strategy, the suit alleges, violates age discrimination laws and puts older workers at a disadvantage. The complaint asserts that this tactic is in direct violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) that guards people over the age of 40 from unfair employment practices.
Study finds widespread discrimination among recruiters nationwide
Countless studies have demonstrated that such discriminatory hiring practices aren’t secluded to any one industry. In a study spearheaded by economists at Tulane University and the University of California Irvine, the data revealed that recruiters are less likely to contact older workers as opposed to younger workers. These findings were accrued after the economists created 40,000 fake resumes and applied to 135 jobs. From sales to administrative jobs, the response rates spoke volumes about the prevalence of age discrimination during the engagement process.
Aging job seekers are entitled to protection. It’s been over 50 years since the passage of the ADEA, but the suit and study shows that there are still many obstacles to overcome to ensure that the law is properly enforced.