- Target, the Communications Workers of America union and two of the union’s members reached a resolution over allegations that the retailer ran afoul of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and similar state-based laws in 2017 when it posted job ads directed toward younger workers only on a social media platform, according to a news release from the AARP Foundation.
- Under the settlement, Target agreed to “maintain and expand its existing practices” in recruitment, including recruiting on websites targeted for older workers, putting pictures of older workers in job ads and attending job fairs known to attract older workers, the release said. The company also will track its use of audience selection tools for job postings on social media to make sure the ads don’t eliminate applicants based on age, graduation date, and generation- or age-based terms like “millennial” or “digital native,” the release said.
- “We are very pleased that Target has committed to these recruitment and hiring practices that promote equal opportunities for all workers regardless of age and provide a model for other employers to follow,” William Alvarado Rivera, senior vice president for litigation at AARP Foundation, said in the release. “Age should play no role in any employment decision. Experienced workers should have a level playing field in their ability to compete for, obtain and retain jobs.”
The ADEA prohibits employers from discriminating against workers and applicants who are 40 years of age or older in hiring, promotion, firing, compensation and terms of employment and is enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Age-based language and commentary often plays a role in ADEA lawsuits.
For example, in February, a Swiss-based medical parts manufacturer agreed to pay $460,000 to a former employee as part of a settlement over an age discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC. The lawsuit alleged the company fired an HR director in 2019 and replaced her with two younger workers after she called out the company for its plans to replace older workers with a younger workforce.
Likewise, the EEOC filed a lawsuit in September against pharmaceutical giant Lilly USA alleging the company favored hiring millennials for sales jobs over older workers.