29 Dec '17
On December 22, Ramit Mizrahi appeared on AirTalk (hosted by Larry Mantle) at KPCC to discuss how companies are using Facebook to target ads to younger employees, and how this can run afoul of anti-discrimination laws.
The episode can be found here: Age discrimination lawsuit against big employers exposes snag in Facebook’s targeted ad system.
More Of Ramit’s Thoughts On Why Targeted Job Ads Are So Troubling
Gone are the days when people would get the local paper to scope out job ads. These days, most jobs are posted online. While there are dedicated job sites like Monster or CareerBuilder, employers are increasingly posting on Facebook.
There are many benefits to using Facebook to post jobs ads. Many potential employees are not on LinkedIn and do not have résumés posted online. Facebook has nearly 2 billion users who can be reached, including people who may not be looking to change their job situation but may be enticed to make a change. In addition, employers have the ability to microtarget, limiting their ads to people with specific interests or experience, enabling them to seek out the employees they believe will be most suitable for jobs.
Targeting Job Ads By Age Can Be Devastating to Older Workers
The problem is that employers can target ads to viewers not only by interests but also by protected characteristics, including age and gender. Working in collaboration, Propublica and the New York Times revealed that dozens of large companies–including Verizon, Amazon, UPS, and even Facebook itself–were posting job ads on Facebook that were visible only to those in certain age ranges (to give some examples, 18-24, 25-36, 27-40, and 25 to 60).
Such a practice makes job postings invisible to older workers. This means that they may never
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- Ms. Mizrahi was elected as an officer of the State Bar of California Labor & Employment Law Section.
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