Workers name Amazon, Capital One in lawsuit alleging Facebook ads targeted young applicants
- A group of workers and a labor union have amended their age discrimination lawsuit focused on improper use of Facebook ads to, among other things, individually name employers. The suit now names Amazon, Capital One, T-Mobile, IKEA, Sleep Number Corp., Weichert Realtors, Enterprise Rent-a-Car and more.
- The lawsuit, originally filed last year, now alleges that the companies violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) with the criteria they used to determine who would receive the employment ads they run on Facebook (Communications Workers of America, et al. v. T-Mobile US Inc., Amazon.Com Inc., Cox Communications Inc, Cox Media Group, LLC et al., No. 17-cv-07232 (N.D. Calif.).
- The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction against future action and compensation for older workers subjected to the practice.
Proving age discrimination can be difficult. The New York Times reported that a 2009 Supreme Court ruling made such showings more difficult when it ruled that plaintiffs had to prove that age was the prime, or motivating, reason for demotion or dismissal. It's important to note, however, that the bar is lower under some state laws.
Still, the EEOC is increasingly looking at how and where employers advertise job openings. Describing the ideal candidate as “energetic” or a “recent college grad,” or the workplace as “fast-paced” should be avoided, they say. Experts also recommend that, instead of requesting three to five years' experience, ask for “at least three years of experience.”
The places — both physical and digital — where employers advertise job openings can create problems, too, as at least one employer has learned the hard way. A recently filed lawsuit alleges that PwC discriminates against older workers by focusing its recruiting efforts on college campuses and school-affiliated job sites.
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Communications Workers of America, et al. v. T-Mobile US Inc., Amazon.Com Inc., Cox Communications Inc, Cox Media Group, LLC et al.
- Communications Workers of America Older Workers Open Up New Fronts in Campaign to Stop Age Bias By Hundreds of Major Employers Who Have Hidden Job Ads from Older Workers on Facebook