Employment Discrimination Blog

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Facebook Faces Allegations of Helping Employers to Exclude Female Candidates in Ads

How can social media influence employment today?

Facebook has faced several scandals involving discrimination in recent years. Now, the company has been accused of allowing employers to exclude female job candidates using the social media platform’s recruitment campaign technology.  Formal charges were recently filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by a group of job applicants coupled with the American Civil Liberties Union and the Communications Workers of America.  In our internet and social media driven culture, these accusations against Facebook must be taken seriously.  Our Atlanta, Georgia employment discrimination lawyer explains the Facebook charges and what they could mean for the company below.

Facebook’s Targeting Technology Gone Wrong

Facebook’s ever evolving technology currently allows employers to produce advertisements that will appear solely to select targeted demographics.  It has been revealed that employers in some industries have been using Facebook’s technology to exclude women from receiving job advertisements.  Several women who used Facebook to search for a job have now filed suit.

Per federal law, it is illegal for employers and recruitment firms to discriminate against potential employees on the basis of gender, among other protected characteristic like race.  Several states have additional laws in place protecting workers against discrimination based on gender.  Per the plaintiff’s, Facebook’s ad services make the company akin to an employment agency.  Many job seekers would attest that Facebook and other social media sites have become a prime source for finding job listings.  As an employment agency, permitting employers to advertise discriminatorily is in violation of federal law.

The alleged discrimination was uncovered through supervision of a group of employees who searched for jobs using their Facebook account.  It was found that certain ads only appeared to men of a certain age in a set region.  Women did not receive like job ads.  Some of the employers involved have countered that their Facebook marketing is just a small part of their overall recruitment campaign.

Now that the issue has received national attention, companies like LinkedIn and Google are reassessing their job advertising software.  Both of these companies do allow employers to exclude a certain gender from receiving an ad.  Now, the companies have vowed to remove ads that are discriminatory based on gender or another protected characteristic.  Employees or job seekers in Georgia who feel that they have been discriminated against should contact an employment discrimination lawyer as soon as possible. 


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