Union sues over Facebook job ads that exclude older people

Union sues over Facebook job ads that exclude older people
© Getty Images

A union sued multiple companies in the United States over Facebook ads targeted toward young people, alleging that the ads amount to age discrimination against older job-seekers.

Reuters reported Wednesday that the Communications Workers of America union filed the lawsuit in a San Francisco federal court.

The complaint alleged that Amazon, T-Mobile and Cox Communications have put age limits on individuals who are able to see ads meant for job recruitment. Facebook is not a defendant in the suit filed by Communications Workers of America, but the complaint alleges that Facebook also uses this tool when it recruits for jobs at the social media company.

The New York Times and ProPublica published a joint investigation Wednesday finding that multiple companies, including Goldman Sachs, Amazon, Target and Facebook use the social media website’s targeting tool for job ads meant for specific age brackets.

ADVERTISEMENT

“This pattern or practice of discrimination denies job opportunities to individuals who are searching for and interested in jobs, reduces the number of older workers who apply for jobs with the offending employers and employment agencies, and depresses the number of older workers who are hired,” the complaint reads.

The attorneys will pursue a class-action lawsuit and additional defendants will be named, the report said. 

Facebook pushed back in a statement to the Times and ProPublica.

“Used responsibly, age-based targeting for employment purposes is an accepted industry practice and for good reason: it helps employers recruit and people of all ages find work,” Rob Goldman, a vice president for Facebook, said to the news outlets.